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Jason Adasiewicz: Rolldown

Mark F. Turner By

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Vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, is one of a number of rising new vibe players of particular note, including Mike Pinto, Dan McCarthy, Chris Dingman. His percussive, piano-like abilities on the instrument are perceptibly clear on his aspiring debut, Rolldown, leading his working band of the same name—Josh Berman (cornet), Aram Shelton (reeds), Jason Roebke (bass) and Frank Rosaly (drums); all of whom are a part of the vibrant Chicago progressive music scene.

While the recording draws clear influences from 1960s post-bop and free jazz patriarchs like Eric Dolphy and Bobby Hutcherson, it also displays Adasiewicz's developing musical vision. Slow angular lines move into a forward momentum on "Good Looking Android," highlighted by Shelton's angular alto sax and the striking closing vamp of Roebke's robust bass line and harmonious horns. Adasiewicz gives a clinic in vibe-swing on "Small Potatoes" and delicate sticking on the abstract ballad "Valerie," where the instrument's soft tones are even more contoured.

Adasiewicz's compositional strength lies in his ability to weave separate threads into a woven fabric. On "Nearby," a moment of quiet bliss slowly morphs into a greater yet denser work, and on "Little Screw," the recording's longest track, multiple themes overlap and connect with isolated and solo threads. These very strong musicians play to the fullest, with an intense focus that balances improvisation and composition. This is music that is heady and refined; not everyone's cup of tea, but clearly a select for progressive listeners.

To top things off, the CD contains an eight-minute YouTube video that can be played on your computer, a really cool selection with the chance to see the quintet and Adasiewicz's scissoring mallet-work in action.

Track Listing: Audio: Good Looking Android; Small Potatoes; Valerie; Creep; Nearby; Little Screw; Gather. Video: Hide.

Personnel: Jason Adasiewicz: vibraphone; Josh Berman: cornet; Aram Shelton: alto saxophone, clarinet; Jason Roebke: bass; Frank Rosaly: drums.

Title: Rolldown | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: 482 Music


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