Released in the environment of his own label's absolute creative control, trumpeter Dan Rosenboom
's newest outing sees a chordless quartet venturing beyond the borders of swing, exploring heavy grooves and free-wheeling improvisation to the point where jazz, hip hop and the rough edges of many other genres meld together to a single style that simultaneously defies the same categorizes of which it is made. Rosenboom's L.A.-based cohorts, drummer Anthony Fung
, saxophonist Gavin Templeton
and double bassist Billy Mohler
, are instrumental in the process and each contribute character and drive to a set as ambitious as it is explosive.
As soon as the first double bass notes supersede the ambiently percussive intro to album opener, "Momentum," a sense of rawness and directness hits the ground running. It relentlessly spreads and remains a constant companion until the last bustling runs of the (arguably) Ornette Coleman
-inspired, rumble of a closer "2020" have decayed. The urgency incorporated in the closer is directly related to its titlesonically referring to a hell of a year but represents only a fraction of the confidence and insistence that graces so many instances across the record.
Where "Momentum" combines heavy stride with an uncompromisingly angular theme, led between trumpet and sax in fourths, "A Force For Good" moves up two gears and sees the horns perform gymnastics over a frantic rhythm section, where drums and bass appear to be bouncing off of each other's impulses. In the midst of freer sections alternating with firmly theme-rooted hooks as presented at different moments across the record, the voices of past avant-gardist forerunners such as Don Cherry
, Eric Dolphy
or even John Coltrane
echo throughespecially when the leader or alto-saxophonist go off on a tangent. But Rhythmically speaking, much of the music here dances to its own tune.
"Fellowship" is another bass-led monster that rather slurps than walks with heavy steps. The horns grind and slip along to the stretched-out beat, much in contrast to the nimble interplay presented over "Impulse and Influences"' stop-and-go aesthetic, which combines sparsely instrumented sections with crashing swing in a way, that gives each voice the space and attention it deserves. "Come Humble" is the hip hop-focused offshoot and a more-or-less root-note-based affair, relying on the mesmerizing effect of pattern and repetition paired with improvisation. Like the other pieces on the record, the experiment is a success and lines up perfectly with the rest of the music while proving of the musicians' wide spectrum of interests and skillsets.
In cold print it all sounds like quite the eclectic affair, but when listened to it holds even more than it promises. One of the reasons why this amalgam of influences works so well is rooted in the disc's dry production values. In alignment with the acoustic instrumentation, Rosenboom relies on a traditional recording situation and drenches the modernized jazz landscape in an old-school sound that lets the inner dynamics of the respective instruments' tones and textures emerge in full blossom.
Recorded in Rosenboom's own garage, Points on an Infinite Line
proves that sometimes a garage is all that is needed to come up with great thingsrealities that evidently don't only hold true for the tech-industry.
The eight tracks on the album were composed in one single day and recorded within a three-hour session. The result speaks for this minimal approach and to the idea that like- minded contemporaries could learn a thing or two from Dan Rosenboom
, as a composer, instrumentalist and producer.
Momentum; A Force For Good; Fellowship; Impulse And Influence; Solidarity; Come Humble; A Moment of Clarity;