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Chicago-based saxophonist/composer Scott Rosenberg possesses the necessary goods to become a major force in the progressive jazz arena! The proof lies within the frameworks applied on this excellent outing. Rosenberg, performing on tenor sax throughout, grapples with the avant-garde in spots, yet conveys an intriguing compositional style which coincides with the artist's hot n’ spicy soloing endeavors. A onetime student of the eminent composer/multi-woodwind great, Anthony Braxton, Rosenberg’s linear themes elicit notions of a group that is venturing into an ascending sojourn or uphill battle. This effort is marked by turbulent rhythms, where the soloists engage in perpetual motion, spurred upon by punctuated unison choruses and efficient utilization of space between measures. Furthermore, the quartet instills a surprising amount of depth. Bassist Kyle Hernandez’s bowed bass lines are supported by his band-mates’ simmering undercurrents. The brief piece titled “01/01/01” could be a nod to Charles Mingus, thanks to the soloists’ soul/blues choruses and jazzy grooves. Other highlights include staggered swing vamps, off kilter funk motifs, and some cleverly articulated call and response type escapades by cornetist Todd Margasak. With all these highlights, this live recording should be deemed essential for aficionados of small ensemble modern jazz. *Easily one of the top picks for 2002.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.