8

Stephan Crump's Rosetta Trio at Constellation

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Stephan Crump's Rosetta Trio
Constellation
Chicago IL
May 3rd 2014

For a little over a year drummer Mike Reed's Constellation has served as a refuge for fans of adventurous music who were left "orphaned" after the death of Chicago Jazz doyen, saxophonist Fred Anderson and the demise of his original Velvet Lounge. The new venue, with its perfect, resonant acoustics, has hosted a wide variety of explorative musicians from various genres. It was here; in Studio A that bassist Stephan Crump and his Rosetta trio mesmerized their audience with tightly woven harmonic layers and virtuosic string-work.

Opening the first set with "Ending" from their third release Twirl (Sunnyside, 2014) the three men exhibited an unparalleled camaraderie as they created a darkly hued ambience with their complex, earthy interplay. Flanked by two guitarists, the idiosyncratically creative Jamie Fox on electric and the versatile stylist Liberty Ellman on acoustic, Crump explored the entire range of his instrument with prodigious agility, making it both a rhythmic anchor and a melodic lead. On "Twirl" a bright, angular tune with hints of folkish Americana, Crump percussed the bass' hollow body creating a cadenced scaffold around which the melody danced in relaxed, enticing phrases.

The group also borrowed from other traditions, fusing all influences into stimulating and spontaneous themes and motifs. The pensive "Escalateur" for instance opened with Crump's somber con-arco that hinted strongly at the western Classical canon. The guitarists' melancholic strums and sonic swirls gently fell on the audience like multihued autumn leaves. The haunting piece concluded on a Zen like contemplative tone.

During the second set, Ellman's own "Cryosize Them" featured his intricate flamenco-esque soloing and progressed into a free flowing jazzy and stirring three-way conversation. Fox's "Conversate (talking-wise)," meanwhile, was built around overlapping individual streams of consciousness resulting in a uniquely engaging exchange of ideas with a deep sense of the blues.

The highlight of this intriguing evening was the vibrantly organic "Our Survival." Opening with Crump's edgy improvisation the tune flirted with but did not give in to dissonance. His mellifluous bowing set an expectant mood as the piece evolved into a romantic nocturne fading out on a bright, cinematic tone.

This intimate concert that concluded with a standing ovation from the small but attentive crowd demonstrated Crump and his band's accomplished musicianship and their charming artistry. It was also yet another well realized evening at Chicago's new home for innovative performances.

Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read "Balé Folclórico de Bahia at Zellerbach Hall" Live Reviews Balé Folclórico de Bahia at Zellerbach Hall
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Del & Dawg at the Ryman Auditorium" Live Reviews Del & Dawg at the Ryman Auditorium
by William Levine
Published: July 9, 2016
Read "Redwood City Salsa Festival 2016" Live Reviews Redwood City Salsa Festival 2016
by Walter Atkins
Published: September 29, 2016
Read "The Rhythm Future Quartet at The Evening Muse" Live Reviews The Rhythm Future Quartet at The Evening Muse
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2016
Read "John Daversa Big Band at The Baked Potato" Live Reviews John Daversa Big Band at The Baked Potato
by Paul Naser
Published: June 3, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!