4

Colossus: Colossus

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Colossus: Colossus Colossus is the name of the album and the band, a seventeen- piece ensemble formed in 2012, comprised of present and former students at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and co-led by trumpeter Dave Chisholm, trombonist Mike Conrad and saxophonist Levi Saelua. While the music is decidedly contemporary, its essential components—melody, harmony, rhythm, improvisation—are the same as those that have defined jazz from its inception. In other words, it is modern with almost none of the sometimes unpleasant side effects. Read that as you may.

The album opens with Conrad's "West Point," an agreeable mid-tempo salute to the Army that earned first prize at the Jazz Knights Composers Forum in 2012. After an engaging introduction by brass, reeds and rhythm, the theme lopes easily along behind earnest solos by tenor saxophonist Marc Abrate and guitarist Gabe Condon, leading to a definitive last chord by pianist Jacob Dupre. Conrad also wrote "Mild, Mild Midwest," a smooth-flowing theme commissioned and premiered by the NY Youth Symphony in 2012 on which he shares blowing space with tenor Erik Stabnau and drummer Jeff Krol.

For his part, Chisholm wrote the seductive "Science Adventure," wherein his agile trumpet shines with trombonist Alistair Duncan, and arranged the dirge-like hymn "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" (showcasing Saelua's soprano sax), which rings down the curtain. Saelua arranged the other numbers, Clay Jenkins' murky "Up and Up" and Joe Kozlowski's urbane "Little Vikings," the first featuring trumpeter Reid Poole and alto Alexa Tarantino, the second, pianist Dupre and trumpeter Kozlowski. Brass and reeds are exemplary throughout, the rhythm section efficient, the soloists by and large congenial.

If there's a downside it lies in choice of tempo, as every number ambles along at basically the same measured pace. There are no ballads, nor are there any flag-wavers (even "West Point," which by all rights should be entitled to wave a flag). Aside from that (and some atypical dissonance on "Fount"), the package is enticing and neatly wrapped. Colossus is an album—and a band—worth hearing more than once to appreciate its expansive framework and texture.

Track Listing: West Point; Science Adventure; Up and Up; Little Vikings; Mild, Mild Midwest; Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.

Personnel: Dave Chisholm: leader, composer, arranger, trumpet, flugelhorn; Charlie Carr: trumpet, flugelhorn; Joe Kozlowski: trumpet, flugelhorn; Reid Poole: trumpet, flugelhorn; Levi Saelus: alto, soprano sax, flute; Alexa Tarantino: alto sax, flute, clarinet; Marc Abrate: tenor sax, flute, clarinet; Erik Stabnau: tenor sax, flute, clarinet; Karl Stabnau: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Alistair Duncan: trombone; Mike Conrad: trombone; Brendan Lanighan: trombone; Greg Hammond: bass trombone; Gabe Condon: guitar; Jacob Dupre: piano; Matt Krol: bass; Jeff Krol: drums.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Summer Skyshift" CD/LP/Track Review Summer Skyshift
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Blue Skylight" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Skylight
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "Hope Of Home" CD/LP/Track Review Hope Of Home
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 2, 2017
Read "Grace" CD/LP/Track Review Grace
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "The Django Experiment I & II" CD/LP/Track Review The Django Experiment I & II
by Peter Jurew
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "Daylight Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017

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!