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The Daniel Rosenboom Quintet: The Daniel Rosenboom Quintet: Fire Keeper

Mike Oppenheim By

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Fire Keeper, the debut album from the Daniel Rosenboom Quintet, exemplifies the vast possibilities for contemporary jazz artists. The album is undeniably jazz, with extensive improvisations and complex compositions, orchestrations and harmonies found in few other genres. The quintet is also unabashedly rooted in other contemporary genres. Progressive rock, as heard in the overdriven electric guitars, power chords and aggressive drumming, with additional influences from funk, contemporary classical and experimental music are major elements of the Quintet's sound. The compositional sense of Frank Zappa also looms large in Rosenboom's unique sonic world.

The band features Daniel Rosenboom on trumpet, piccolo trumpet, and flugelhorn and Gavin Templeton on saxophones, flute and bass clarinet. The rhythm section is drummer Dan Schnelle, guitarist Alexander Noice and Kai Kurosawa playing Bear Trax, a double necked fretted instrument that includes both bass and guitar pitch ranges.

"Leaving Moscow" opens the album with an adept mixture of atmospheric subtlety alternating with an outright aggressive theme, reminiscent of the progressive rock band Dream Theater. In yet a third theme the horn orchestration tempers the expectations previously established by the heavily distorted guitar. Kurosawa's deft playing of the Bear Trax provides a bass line appropriate to any number of funk styles and Schnelle's effortless transition between drumming styles are two of the more striking features of the track.

The snarl of a muted trumpet and booming percussion on "With Fire Eyes" evoke what Duke Ellington's Cotton Club sound could have been in the present day. The stop-and-go effect, frantic melodic lines and instrumental effects of "Inspiration" bring to mind the aesthetic of Frank Zappa.

Though Rosenboom's compositions reflect many of his influences, they are uniquely combined to forge the Quintet's own sound. The form and orchestration of his compositions ideally frame the excellent musicianship of the individual band members.

Track Listing: Leaving Moscow; Seven on Seventh; With Fire Eyes; Tadodaho; Hush Money; The Fifteenth Hour; Holiday Motel; Inspiration; Tendrils.

Personnel: Daniel Rosenboom: trumpet and piccolo trumpet; Gavin Templeton: saxophones, flute and bass clarinet; Alexander Noice: electric guitar and electronics; Kai Kurosawa: bear trax, ziggy and electronics; Dan Schnelle: drums.

Title: The Daniel Rosenboom Quintet: Fire Keeper | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Orenda Records

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