All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Josh Roseman: New Constellations: Live in Vienna

J Hunter By

Sign in to view read count
George Shearing called Don Drummond one of the world's top trombone players, and if the aggressive lines Josh Roseman take on New Constellations are any indication of Drummond's style, it's easy to see why Shearing paid him that compliment. A founding father of Ska, Drummond was as famous for his unique phrasing as he was for the hits he penned for the Skatalites, one of the genre's early super-groups. Roseman—whose mother is Jamaican—has played with groundbreakers like Dave Douglas, Steve Coleman and Don Byron, so he is well-qualified to breathe life into Drummond's independent musical spirit.

Most of New Constellations comes from a gig at Joe Zawinul's Birdland, but the opening track, "Satta Massagana, was recorded in a San Francisco studio by Jeff Cressman; he and Natalie Cressman made up the "Rude 'bone Choir that acts as chorus and context for Roseman, guitarist Will Bernard and multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum. Apfelbaum alternates between tenor sax and organ for the other tracks, but he's a one-man band on "Satta, playing drums and synth-bass, as well as reeds and keyboards.

Roseman's trombone has a petulance that cuts right through the studio effects that either enhance or intrude, depending on your world view. His lines snarl rather than growl, offsetting the enticing groove that speaks directly to anyone who ever Skanked to Bob Marley and the Wailers. The funk gets thicker and nastier as Constellations gets into the live tracks, where Groove Collective members Jonathan Maron and Barney McAll team with explosive drummer Justin Brown.

Roseman and Apfelbaum hook up with trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire to make a front line that's stronger than dirt. The horn charts on "Greasy Feets Music are hard and chaotic, and add a further layer of percussion to the already-breakneck pace. Apfelbaum's tenor work has an R&B buzz that deeply satisfies, and Akinmusire's uncompromising trumpet takes no prisoners. Bernard and Marvin Sewell play Old School Ska guitar, making the second and fourth beat jump, but the keyboards are what lift the project, with the organ sound alternating between Hammond B3 and the tinny Farfisa popularized by the one-hit wonder "96 Tears.

Although Constellations is far from an exercise in retro, Roseman does hamstring the project by delving too deep into Dub tradition. Roseman worked over the live tracks with Brooklyn studio wizards Goodandevil, and while the aforementioned effects may be in line with Drummond's genre, they hurt more than they help: a loping cover of the Beatles' "I Should Have Known Better is hijacked by samples of President Bush's "Fool me once gaffe. Also, the Vienna audience is almost completely removed from the equation, robbing the disc of the symbiotic relationship that drives live recordings.

At the end of the day, this disc is about love—the love Roseman has for Drummond's sound and legacy. New Constellations gives this generation a taste of the honesty and energy that's always been at Ska's root. And if it makes you dance, that's cool, too.

Track Listing: Satta Massaganna; Greasy Feets Music; Thoroughfare; I Should Have Known Better; Olsen Twins Subpoena; Theme Constellations; B4 and After; Confucious; Purpled Turtles Liberations; I Wanna Be With You; I Should Have Known Better (Live Remix).

Personnel: Josh Roseman: trombone, laptop; Peter Apfelbaum: tenor saxophone, organ; Ambrose Akinmusire: trumpet; Marvin Sewell: guitar; Barney McAll: piano, keyboards, samples, live dub treatments; Jonathan Maron: bass; Justin Brown: drums; Will Bernard: guitar (1); Natalie Cressman: background vocals (1); Jeff Cressman: background vocals (1).

Title: New Constellations: Live in Vienna | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Accurate Records


comments powered by Disqus

Greasy Feets Music

Greasy Feets Music

Josh Roseman
New Constellations: Live in...

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

Government Cheese

Fresh Sound New Talent

New Constellations: Live in Vienna

New Constellations:...

Accurate Records

Treats for the Nightwalker

Treats for the...

Enja Records



Knitting Factory


Related Articles

Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read All Melody CD/LP/Track Review
All Melody
by Phil Barnes
Published: March 23, 2018
Read The Future is Female CD/LP/Track Review
The Future is Female
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Hunters & Scavengers CD/LP/Track Review
Hunters & Scavengers
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow CD/LP/Track Review
Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Transatlantic CD/LP/Track Review
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 22, 2018
Read "Reunion" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion
by John Sharpe
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Shamat" CD/LP/Track Review Shamat
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 16, 2017
Read "I Am" CD/LP/Track Review I Am
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 13, 2017
Read "A Year Ago Today" CD/LP/Track Review A Year Ago Today
by Doug Collette
Published: March 18, 2018
Read "Double Down" CD/LP/Track Review Double Down
by James Nadal
Published: June 10, 2017
Read "Eco Do Futuro" CD/LP/Track Review Eco Do Futuro
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: January 10, 2018