Home » Jazz Articles » Joshua Crumbly: Rise

Album Review

Joshua Crumbly: Rise


Sign in to view read count
Joshua Crumbly: Rise
Joshua Crumbly and his bass have logged a good few miles learning from a respectable number of fellow players (Victor Bailey, Terence Blanchard, Kamasi Washington and more) in his fairly young career, and it shows—his debut may not be as wildly eclectic as it could have been with such a colorful history to build on, but then it's not specifically meant to be. Rise is more about portraying emotions and inner thoughts, and the variety of players and tones here remains secondary to serving that mood: while the pieces have particular inspirations, Crumbly and his crew weave a range of emotions without needing to spell them out. At the same time, any abstraction is rooted in intuitive interplay and a groove that almost never lets up.

The mix is largely centered around a dreamy series of semi-abstract trip-hop jams, over which the players walk an interesting line between busy and crowded. The drum bed bubbles somewhere between jazzy skittering and low-key rave. Guitars and keys trade parts with varying degrees of electricity. The lead-off, "New Rock Thingy," drifts into futuristic trip-hop fusion floating in vaguely distorted synth soup, topping it off with restless drifting sax for good measure. The recipe keeps shifting in small ways throughout this subtly dense half-hour, from the soul organ of "Shout Song" or the floaty dub atmospherics of "Valor," to even looser breathers like "Remembering," which leaves everyone extra space to daydream.

The result is an amorphous stew that lives up to Crumbly's inclusive ambition ("to write songs that can be performed at rock festivals or jazz clubs or concert halls") while not getting too off-puttingly weird. Tribal African rhythm lives right alongside electro-ambient haze and cool funk, all the elements skillfully blended so that they never quite sound completely familiar in context. Rise leans on the short side but packs enough inner and outer wandering to make a satisfying trip.

Track Listing

Afria; New Rock Thingy; Noah; Remembering; Valor; For Victor; Shout Song; Rise; Light.


Joshua Crumbly: bass; Michael Coleman: piano; Jonathan Pinson: drums; Josh Johnson: saxophone, alto; Mathis Picard: piano; Taber Gable: keyboards; Ronnie Crumbly: saxophone; Fabian Almazan: piano; Jason Burger: drums; David Cook: organ, Hammond B3; Zach Harmon: tablas.

Album information

Title: Rise | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Open Book Records

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter Since 1995, shortly after the dawn of the internet, All About Jazz has been a champion of jazz, supporting it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to rigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album



Jazz Is Dead 14
Henry Franklin
With Grace In Mind
One Of The Others
Taurey Butler
Times Like These
Nica Carrington


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.