55

Carlo De Rosa's Cross-Fade: Brain Dance

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
Carlo De Rosa's Cross-Fade: Brain Dance The energy of bassist Carlo De Rosa's Brain Dance is palpable. Musically, it is a close equivalent of an elastic band held extremely taut and then twanged continuously until the kinetic energy continues to do what the fingers once did. However, De Rosa's fingers continue to do what invisible fingers once did to the music as a whole. The bassist finds this energy contained in the strings of his double bass and the electric one he sometimes also plays. His pizzicato and con arco playing are brimful with some kind of primordial cry that is like a silent scream that is heard only in its lowest register. With this he leads his cohort into musical realms that are exclusively his domain. Each pluck of the string releases that pent-up energy that acts like a synapse originating not from the brain, but through the heart to the whole body. This makes for much more than a brain dance, although the allusion is the possible vibration of the heart of the nervous system when it is jolted by the rhythmic shaking of the head. In the case of the music, however, it is the invisible electricity that rages across the body with this extraordinarily remarkable music.

De Rosa might consider himself well blessed to have tenor saxophonist Mark Shim sharing the date, alongside drummer Justin Brown and pianist Vijay Iyer. Having musicians who are connected by the common breath of the soul is truly a rare happenstance and the result is four bodies vibrating as one. This, in turn, produces the music's fibrillations that rocket through "Circular Woes" and the title track. It also results in the aching balladry of "Maja," however the magic here is described in the waning blood-burst that fires the dallying downward shift of the music. Iyer shines with the deliberate nature of his exclusively chosen notes and echoing pedaled arpeggios leading up to a deep and dry solo from Shim's smoky saxophone. There is a swelling seriousness and unbridled playfulness in the music on this album, the suggestion of which turns the music from a somewhat menacing noir to brightly sunlit and plasmatic. This music of changing colors suggests the multi-dimensionality of De Rosa's ingenious playing.

Carlo De Rosa gives notice that he is a serious contender for consideration in the same lineage from which Oscar Pettiford sprung. So, by definition, De Rosa is brazen and forthright. He makes music on a bass alright, but he is so melodic that a hidden thematic line seems to flow from the parabolic lines issued from his bass. Like Pettiford, De Rosa is also a master of harmonic progression. The manner in which he plays off Shim and Iyer is magical in a contrapuntal way. And he inhabits such a low register so low it is barely above a growl. But he also sings in higher sounding registers like a fluttering madrigal on this fine album.


Track Listing: Circular Woes; For Otto; Maja; Headbanger's Bawl; Brain Dance; Terrane/A Phrase; Route 17.

Personnel: Carlo De Rosa: acoustic, electric bass; Mark Shim: tenor saxophone; Vijay Iyer: piano, Fender Rhodes; Justin Brown: drums, cymbals.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "The Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review The Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Nuit Blanche" CD/LP/Track Review Nuit Blanche
by John Kelman
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Rope" CD/LP/Track Review Rope
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 6, 2016
Read "Soundscapes" CD/LP/Track Review Soundscapes
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 4, 2016
Read "Early Americans" CD/LP/Track Review Early Americans
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 22, 2016
Read "Rising Grace" CD/LP/Track Review Rising Grace
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 28, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!