290

Mara Rosenbloom Quartet: School of Fish

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
Mara Rosenbloom Quartet: School of Fish Music, at its best, is about seeing and feeling things that are well-known in a new way, making them pleasing to the intellect and heart. It's about placing familiar things in an unfamiliar context.

Taking the cover to Wisconsin-born pianist Mara Rosenbloom's album as an example, School of Fish is adorned by a fish painted on woodwork with the eye of the fish being a part of the wood's natural texture. Here, an aquatic animal is taken out of its natural element and placed in a different context and it works: the fish is seen in a whole new and humorous way.

Just as the cover plays with the well-known perception of how things usually are, Rosenbloom renews the trite formulas of jazz with sparkling compositions that are both lyrically contemplative and rhythmically pulsating.

It is easy to follow the melodic thread of her thought, and yet there are constant and unexpected detours, making the music both accessible and intellectually satisfying. As a player Rosenbloom is equally fascinating—changing tempi, using rollicking licks and blocks of chords. There are traces of her former teacher Kenny Werner as well as McCoy Tyner, but the final expression is all her own.

Bloom has enlisted a top-notch team of young musicians who understand how the music works and are able to follow every twist and turn. Bassist Isaac Jaffe has all the groovy elasticity necessary to encompass the melodic complexity of compositions like the opening "Arrival" and "Passage," with their bouncing rhythms. For that purpose, drummer Nick Anderson is also the ideal timekeeper with his light, sophisticated playing making the music dance.

Darius Jones is an instrumental master; from the velvety vulnerability of "Subtle Pressure" to the intense climax of "Six," he plays across his saxophone's entire register.

This quartet plays music that renders believable the future of jazz. As both a player and composer, Rosenbloom is already singular and ahead of those players satisfied to reside in the dull water of familiar elements.


Track Listing: Arrival; Subtle Pressure; Passage; Ellipsis; Departure; Six.

Personnel: Mara Rosenbloom: piano; Darius Jones: alto saxophone; Isaac Jaffe: bass; Nick Anderson: drums.

Title: School of Fish | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Harlem CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "The Chicago Plan" CD/LP/Track Review The Chicago Plan
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 16, 2017
Read "Have Yourself An Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself An Alto Madness Christmas
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "The Rhythm Method" CD/LP/Track Review The Rhythm Method
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "Les Rhincéros III" CD/LP/Track Review Les Rhincéros III
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Das Wohltemperierte Akkordeon" CD/LP/Track Review Das Wohltemperierte Akkordeon
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 21, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.