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Charles Rumback

Drummer, composer, bandleader, and all around creative musician, Charles Rumback performs in many varied and disparate musical settings from deep inside the jazz tradition to the periphery of its outer rings on his third album Threes. Rumback always maintains his characteristic sound and personal language, from the blurry fringes of rock to backing the most plaintive singer-songwriters, with a musical voice that is instantly recognizable. In 2016, Rumback created an album that made good on its title’s promise of new beginnings with his acclaimed quintet album, In The New Year. The album was well received, earning him a spot on "best of" year-end polls and on the stage of the Von Freeman Pavilion at the 38th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival flanked by trumpet luminary Ron Miles and saxophone greats Tony Malaby and Greg Ward. Now, with his resolutions kept and another Chicago winter in the rearview, Rumback finds himself removing layers, and musicians, to reveal the sparse, yet verdant nature of his working trio with his rhythmic foil John Tate on bass, and the elegant, inquisitive piano of Jim Baker. Captured live from a concert at one of Chicago’s most creative venues for new music, Constellation, Threes is a 21st century update on the classic piano trio. The album comes out swinging with the Rumback’s composition, ”Salt Lines.” An upbeat opening salvo, and the first of three originals on the recording, “Salt Lines” states a hopeful, albeit bittersweet, melody; one that takes its time to resolve, leaving more questions than answers. The push and pull of free gravity is felt strongest on the album’s centerpiece composite of "Three Story Birdhouse / Right Reasons.” There is plenty of room for the trio to kinetically move together and disrupt one another, with Baker and Tate tangling their lines in knots only to untie them, open them up, and reveal a constellation of notes tracing out nameless, mythic figures. “Erato” opens slowly to reveal the trio’s wide open harmonic palette and, in particular, Jim Baker’s dynamic and unique pianism. Rumback’s choice to include an Andrew Hill composition reads like a statement of intent, as if to say, "Here’s where we’re coming from." Although he’s Kansas born and raised, Rumback has long called Chicago home. Covering a Chicago native makes complete sense. But, where is it going? The albums book end, “Too Toney” is where. The song is a fine example of the drummer’s compositional knack towards the patient and reflective with a gravitational pull into the free; a dark, impressionistic waltz that takes form as if it is still in the darkroom, developing before the listener’s ears, just to shape shift again, out of reach.

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"Rumback may not enjoy the brand recognition of some of his peers, but he's steadily proving to be a creative force worth following." - John Frederick Moore (JAZZIZ)

"Quietly staggering" - Peter Margasak (Chicago Reader)

Primary Instrument

Drums

Location

Chicago

Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced

Credentials/Background

https://www.oldtownschool.org/teachers/Charles-Rumback/

Photos

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

When I Look to Sky

Ears And Eyes Records
2021

buy

Seven Bridges

Astral Spirits
2021

buy

June Holiday

Astral Spirits
2020

buy

A Time And A Place

Woolgathering Records
2020

buy

Cadillac Turns

Astral Spirits
2019

buy

Little Common Twist

Thrill Jockey
2019

buy

Three Ruminations

From: Seven Bridges
By Charles Rumback

Fall Dog Bombs the Moon

From: Seven Bridges
By Charles Rumback

Peace

From: When I Look to Sky
By Charles Rumback

Half Joking

From: Little Common Twist
By Charles Rumback

Too Toney

From: Cadillac Turns
By Charles Rumback

Ash Wednesday

From: Tag Book
By Charles Rumback

Salt Lines

From: Threes
By Charles Rumback

Erato

From: Threes
By Charles Rumback

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