Monday, February 17, 2020

Dan Rosenboom - Absurd in the Anthropocene (Gearbox, 2020)

Trumpeter and composer Dan Rosenboom makes a bold statement, by combining a strong acoustic group sensibility with copious amounts of electronics, creating a powerful modern jazz collection that shows off the talent of the large amount of performers he has gathered around him. The album begins with "Mr. Lizard Said," which yokes grinding keyboard to heavy drums and punchy trumpet, all of which are played fast and well, the leader performing especially well with highly articulated trumpet playing amid the ground level synth and crisp percussion. "Lemonade" combines electronics, guitar and drums in a massive edifice of sound with rockish snarls of electric guitar snap through. Taking a different approach, "Pushed to the Edge of Ideas by Dispassionate Bias-Algorithm Bots" uses a more subtle approach with horns and percussion providing the driving force, creating a complex post-bop rhythm that get quite intricate. a well played trumpet and drum dialogue is eventually folded back into the full group demonstrating that Rosemboom is really pushing himself, followed by a loose and fast saxophone solo to keep things moving at a scalding pace. "Heliopteryx" develops smears of percussion which slide in followed by quicksilver keyboards and more starkly rendered guitar. Fast withering tones of trumpet join in firing quick rapid notes and longer tones into the mix, with raw peals of saxophone increasing the emotional content of the performance. Fast full band intro keeps "Apes in Rapture" sleek and futuristic sounding, with extra horns added to give the performance a big band / large ensemble feeling with tricky ensemble playing and nimble solo sections. Beginning with a twisting and turning saxophone nod, it's a lengthy and impressive section buoyed by crisp ensemble riffs. Rosenboom begins his own section slowly, gradually ramping up and crafting a majestic feature. "Forget What You Know" develops a crisp electronic and acoustic combined beat to set the table for the brass with the saxophone flying over the urbanized post-modern soundscape quickly. Rosemboom's gliding trumpet is framed by excellent drumming soon taking over, and giving the whole spectacle and action movie soundtrack vibe. Electric piano and yearning horns in unison converge over an understated beat on "Green Moon." The performance builds a dynamic drive between carefully constructed sections and moments of abandon, where the horns cry out and the drums push the action continuously forward. "Obsidian Butterfly" melds abstract electronics to meet crushing volume allowing the horns to enter and the stack to gather steam. Moments of uncomfortable rawness resolve into a gritty full band improvisation that grinds against the wheel and a heavyweight conclusion. Overall this was an impressive album, Rosemboom is a memorable trumpet player and writes interesting situations to improvise upon. He's equally comfortable in electronic fusion, post-bop or large ensemble work, and leads a cast of dozens with a keen hand. Absurd In The Anthropocene - amazon.com

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