88

Scott Rosenberg Quartet: Blood

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
Scott Rosenberg Quartet: Blood The perils of pedantry and self-righteousness have toppled more than a few pairings of music and politics. Saxophonist Scott Rosenberg seems cognizant of these dangers. The liners of his new CIMP album are infused with political indignation, but he wisely refrains from allowing these emotions to hijack his music. Instead, the targets of his ire—specifically the Bush Administration and its continually accruing gaffes—receive a sound admonishing through the subtle verities of nine lyrics-free compositions. The acronym-like titles are never explained.



Rosenberg's partners—thirty-somethings like himself, save drummer Tim Daisy—appear to share the leader's convictions. Together they make a responsive team. Where they falter slightly is in the emulative nature of their shared free bop sound. "Califa" ambles along at a Faubus-like lope, punctuated by sped-up interludes between solos. Margasak blows cool while Rosenberg's horn favors a more agitated style of articulation flecked with reed pops and rankled intervallics. "ADSTDR" employs the same trick of numerous tempo shifts and in the process ends up sounding similar to what preceded it in the program. Even Rosenberg's solo follows a similar tack, starting slow but quickly sprouting thorns. Margasak contrasts prominently, favoring a quicksilver phrasing that parcels notes with economy and precision. Daisy's solo comes across as almost textbook in its polite attention martial beats coaxed from snare. Fortunately he limbers up on later tracks.



With "OHS II" the quartet finds its emotional stride, a pace they sustain for much of the album's remainder. Rosenberg's opening tenor oratory taps an emotional vein, lacing urgent phrases with an acrid vibrato akin to Brötzmann. Daisy's rolling mallets complete the somber sonic picture. Margasak's cornet voices calmer, less querulous tonalities, his bright note-chains bracketed by the swollen tones of Hernandez's bass. The drummer once again brings up the rear, pattering away on brushes before switching back to bustling sticks for a culminating send-off. The remainder of the program favors fast- paced boppish sorties built around darting heads and lubricious tempo shifts. All allow for ample solo statements from the horns. Quite often Hernandez and Daisy receive their share too.



The political trappings of the music manifest most noticeably in the tension that fuels most of the pieces. Intense roiling interplay on "JTY" and "RRMTRRM" comes closest to capturing this sort of impassioned ideological insurgency, but there are other places where it seems a pale facsimile of earlier political provocateurs like Shepp and Roach. Still, the chosen restraint works better overall. It allows Rosenberg and his partners to place the music front and center without resorting to badly calculated bleeding heart entreaties. The album as a whole feels a bit derivative, but it's still an enjoyable outing by four youngish improvisers who will hopefully find more opportunities to convene in front of the mics, in the Spirit Room or elsewhere.



Visit CIMP on the web.


Title: Blood | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: CIMP Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Extremophile" CD/LP/Track Review Extremophile
by John Eyles
Published: April 11, 2017
Read "Cultural Capital" CD/LP/Track Review Cultural Capital
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 4, 2017
Read "Los Guachos V" CD/LP/Track Review Los Guachos V
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "Il sistema periodico" CD/LP/Track Review Il sistema periodico
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Blow + Beat" CD/LP/Track Review Blow + Beat
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 11, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.