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Kelly Rossum: Party's Over/Begun

Dan McClenaghan By

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Trumpeter Kelly Rossum and the quintet open up Party's Over/Begun relaxed and loose-jointed on bass man Michael O'Brian's "Scatterlogic", a rollicking straight ahead quintet workout. Stretched (like a rubberband) trumpet lines, rhythm rolling free and easy. Sounds like the band tried and tried to record it just right, then gave up and said, "What the hell; let's just cut loose and have a good time on this take." And they nailed it. Reviewer speculation, to be sure, but it's a hellva a good time listen, and a great opener to the CD.

The Rossum-penned "The Witch" bops along, tenorist Witt sounding sort of (early)Coltranish; and on "Little Mary", another Rossum song, the trumpeter breaks out the mute. The song has a lovely, lyrical melody; Rossum's mute work is superb. The performance sounds like a lost track from Miles Davis's last marathon Prestige Records session, a thoughtful take on an obscure classic, a forgotten Cole Porter Show tune, say, that features a delicately beautiful rhythm section interlude.

The ten and a half minute "Sand Dunes" may be the highlight, Rossum's trumpet echoing mid-sixties Miles or seventies Freddie Hubbard. Witt sounds Wayne Shorterish in front of a relaxed rhythm. And then—the highlight within the highlight—an oddly gorgeous piano solo by Ellen Lease: classical inflections giving way to Satoko Fujii-ish free playing.

"The Mighty Monarch of the Air" is, according ot the liner notes, the name of an old 78 RPM record player/radio; but the way Rossum floats his trumpet notes over the light-stepping rhythm brings the butterfly to mind.

They close out with "Rush Hour", a free-ish tune, angular blowing, with pianist Lease flying into a Cecil Taylor mode.

A fine quintet set, a lot of stylistic diversity in the compositions, the package held together into an artistic whole by the versatality of the musicians. A must have CD for fans of the sax and trumpet in front of the rhythm section quintet mode, and a (if I were a betting man) precursor to solo CDs by each and ever band member.

Track Listing: Scatterlogic, The Witch, Little Mary, Toxic Fruit, Sand Dunes, Through the Fog, Lowlands, Majestic Monarch of the Air, a.m. quiet, Rush Hour

Personnel: Kelly Rossum, trumpet; Woody Witt, tenor sax; Ellen Lease, piano; Michael O'Brian, bass; Edgar Olivera, drums

Title: Party's Over/Begun | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Yebo Productions


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