All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

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.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Read more articles
Stephan Crump's Rhombal

Stephan Crump's...

Papillon Sounds
2017

buy
Planktonic Finales

Planktonic Finales

Intakt Records
2017

buy
Stephan Crump's Rhombal

Stephan Crump's...

Papillon Sounds
2016

buy
Thwirl

Thwirl

Sunnyside Records
2014

buy
Super 8

Super 8

Intakt Records
2013

buy
Thwirl

Thwirl

Sunnyside Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Branford Marsalis and Jean-Willy Kunz at the Kimmel Center Live Reviews
Branford Marsalis and Jean-Willy Kunz at the Kimmel Center
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Trish Clowes at Mermaid Arts Centre Live Reviews
Trish Clowes at Mermaid Arts Centre
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 17, 2018
Read Hitch On 2017 Live Reviews
Hitch On 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: February 17, 2018
Read WDR 3 Jazzfest 2018 Live Reviews
WDR 3 Jazzfest 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 16, 2018
Read Chick Corea/Steve Gadd Band At Blues Alley Live Reviews
Chick Corea/Steve Gadd Band At Blues Alley
by David Hadley Ray
Published: February 14, 2018
Read Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band at Sculler's Jazz Club Live Reviews
Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band at Sculler's Jazz...
by Nat Seelen
Published: February 13, 2018
Read "Wayne Shorter Quartet at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews Wayne Shorter Quartet at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Ted Ludwig Trio at Little Rock's South on Main" Live Reviews Ted Ludwig Trio at Little Rock's South on Main
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Willie Nelson's Outlaw Festival" Live Reviews Willie Nelson's Outlaw Festival
by Christine Connallon
Published: September 30, 2017
Read "Impressions of Monterey Jazz Festival 2017: MJF At 60" Live Reviews Impressions of Monterey Jazz Festival 2017: MJF At 60
by Walter Atkins
Published: October 6, 2017
Read "Bonerama at the Iridium" Live Reviews Bonerama at the Iridium
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: August 5, 2017