Review: Josh Roseman – New Constellations (Live In Vienna)

Josh Roseman’s latest recording is horn-driven, funked out, spacey reggae with a dose of dub tossed in for good measure. Roseman’s trombone, whether it’s straight and buttery, muted, electrified, or chorused is front and center on all the tunes. Like his two earlier recordings, Cherry and the very excellent Treats For The Nightwalker, New Constellations is an ensemble recording, with many excellent musicians contributing to Roseman’s arrangements. Three particular musicians of note who help out on this one are Barney McCall (keys) and Jonathon Maron (bass), both of who are former bandmates of Roseman’s in Groove Collective, and young trumpeter extraordinaire, Ambrose Akinmusire (see Alan Pasqua’s latest release). Three tunes of note are “Theme Constellations,” “Thoroughfare,” which is my favorite song of this session, and “I Should Have Known Better,” which has this Pharoah Sanders The Creator Has A Master Plan feel to it. Josh Roseman is a member of a new group of young musicians who are not afraid to cross boundaries, and color outside the lines – while creating their brand of improvisational jazz. I applaud him.

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Review: Alan Pasqua – The Anti Social Club

A veteran keyboardist who’s played with Tony Williams in his Lifetime band, Alan Pasqua has released a seven track jewel of a fusion masterpiece that harkens back to Miles (i.e., In A Silent Way), the Headhunters, and Weather Report. In fact, every time I listen to The Anti Social Club, I keep hearing more influences. For some reason, the tunes, for me, are very familiar – I mean that in a good way. This may be a stretch, but here’s why: I was a very big fan of Tony Williams last great band, the one with Mulgrew Miller, Wallace Roney, Billy Hart, and Charnett Moffett. Williams was doing a lot of interesting writing over those last four or five recordings. Pasqua’s compositions remind me of an electric version of that group – or more precise, what may have developed had Williams not died at such a young age. Yes, I know it’s a stretch, and Pasqua last played with Williams a long time ago, but just listen to the trumpet of Ambose Akimusire and the sax of Jeff Elwood, their solos, the song structure………just maybe, who knows. The Anti Social Club is heady, horn driven fusion, with Pasqua’s spacey distortion ridden keyboards front and center. Nels Cline is very solid on guitar, along with Jimmy Haslip of the Yellowjackets on bass, Scott Amendola on drums, and Alex Acuna rounding out the group on percussion. I’ve never heard of Akimusire, who has a sound that reminds me of Freddie Hubbard, back in his CTI days, or Elwood before; Pasqua was wise to use them as foil to his keys. One last comment, “New Rhodes” – Crank It Up!

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