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Michael Dessen Trio: Somewhere In The Upstream

Read "Somewhere In The Upstream" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Ace trombonist Michael Dessen is an imaginative technologist when incorporating artistically focused computer-generated sounds into his works as he once again disavows the tried and true with this all-star rhythm section. Complete with unorthodox flows and changeable rhythmic progressions, Dessen's zany and otherworldly live electronics permutations, along with some cosmic interference, offers an extra layer of excitement and curiousity. Essentially, the trio adds a phantasmagoric nuance to various movements throughout this program dedicated to the memory of jazz great, Yusef ...

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Michael Dessen Trio: Resonating Abstractions

Read "Resonating Abstractions" reviewed by Robert Bush

Michael Dessen is a slide-trombone virtuoso and computer musician of the highest order, and the music his trio crafts on Resonating Abstractions showcases his work as a composer in compelling fashion. Key to this success are the contributions from singular double-bassist Chris Tordini and the multi-rhythmic drums of Dan Weiss. Together they realize and expand the structures of Dessen's vision, aided by the live-sampled or algorithmic electronics on roughly half the tracks. “Grid After Grid," opens ...

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Michael Dessen Trio: Forget The Pixel

Read "Forget The Pixel" reviewed by Robert Bush

Trombonist Michael Dessen once studied with George Lewis, hung with Ray Anderson, and has ascended to their level on the creative improvising scene. Dessen has his own distinct style, one that values nuanced gestures as highly as it does exuberance; therefore his music creates a micro world of detail and organically developed themes. The music for this album was actualized over the course of a year of experimentation. Dessen's trio-mates live in NYC, and he would visit ...

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Michael Dessen Trio: Forget The Pixel

Read "Forget The Pixel" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

This jazz trio, manned by Southern California-based slide trombonist Michael Dessen, sports a full-sized sound and abides by a rather springy group-centric mode of attack. Dessen's solo work, co-leader outings, and stints with major progressive-jazz artists complement his educational duties at the University of California, Irvine. The trombonist parlays a worldly and comprehensive stance on Forget The Pixel, where the musicians share equal footing amid rousing passages, bustling rhythms, and the leader's bizarre, yet sagacious electronics overlays. The ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Michael Dessen Trio : Irvine CA, May 7, 2011

Read "Michael Dessen Trio : Irvine CA, May 7, 2011" reviewed by Robert Bush

Michael Dessen TrioUC Irvine, Winifred Smith HallIrvine, CaliforniaMay 7, 2011 Michael Dessen is, according to a frequent employer, the contrabass virtuoso Mark Dresser, “a black-belt trombonist." He is, in fact such a consummate sideman in so many contexts that the opportunity to hear him as a leader is a rare treat, indeed. Dessen was able to bring his NYC trio-mates out for this concert : on double-bass, the phenomenal Christopher Tordini, ...

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Michael Dessen Trio: Between Shadow and Space

Read "Between Shadow and Space" reviewed by Greg Camphire

Between Shadow and Space is an aptly named release from trombonist and computer manipulator Michael Dessen’s trio, which creates oblique and evasive soundscapes that can’t be easily categorized. As Dessen writes in the album’s liner notes, “the past half century has produced a staggering array of improvisational music…my music draws energy from overlapping musical communities and histories.” 

Over the course of this record’s duration, the music has points of reference such as European musique concrete as well as languages ...

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Michael Dessen Trio: Between Shadow and Space

Read "Between Shadow and Space" reviewed by Troy Collins

A trombonist with strong roots in the acoustic tradition and a fondness for cutting edge electronic experimentation, Michael Dessen straddles the line between the avant-garde and the accessible better than most. A dauntless sonic explorer, Dessen has bolstered his extensive academic career studying with icons like Anthony Davis, Yusef Lateef and George Lewis.

In addition to numerous projects involving solo trombone performances augmented by live electronics, Dessen is a member of the West Coast quartet Cosmologic, whose recent ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Michael Dessen / Cosmologic: Between Shadow and Space / Eyes in the Back of My Head

Read "Michael Dessen / Cosmologic:  Between Shadow and Space / Eyes in the  Back of My Head" reviewed by Clifford Allen

Somehow it's not at all surprising to read in Michael Dessen's bio that he studied with trombonist George Lewis and pianist Anthony Davis, two of this music's most well known academes. Dessen is a trombonist, composer-improviser and scholar who explores new media arts, the internet and cross-cultural migration through sound. Improvised music has a hard time fitting in with the academy, and can often feel bereft of something once it does enter even the most wide-open of academic contexts. However, ...


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