Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

120

Mike Rood: The Desert And The City

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
The music on guitarist Mike Rood's debut recording straddles two different worlds. Sparse settings of relative quietude represent the isolation and beautiful spaciousness of the desert, while lively demonstrations of technical sophistication and motion paint a vivid picture of the non-stop energy of the city. The title of this recording points to these opposing sound locales, but it also references the origins of this music. Rood—the son of two symphonic violinists—wrote some of this music while summering in Sante Fe, New Mexico, where his parents worked with the Sante Fe Opera, and the rest of the music was born in the Big Apple, where Rood refined his playing while attending the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.

Rood's musical upbringing, interest in the music of Pat Metheny and John Abercrombie, and studies with guitarists Adam Rogers and Vic Juris, all inform his own style, but none of these influences threaten to overshadow him. Each structural edifice that Rood creates is built on a different principle designed to showcase his unique guitar voice and the complementary contributions from his band.

A piece with chamber-like bookends and a more active core serves as an introduction to Rood's work ("The Desert And The City"), but each subsequent composition moves in a different direction. Wispy musical greetings serve as a prologue to chordal rhythmic gestures that underscore scintillating saxophone work from Mike Bjella on "Atonement," and pulsating guitar swells underscore a fairly loose introduction that leads to intense riffing on "The Reckoning." Peace and purity are of prime importance on "Uncertainty," which is easily one of the stand out tracks on the album, and Rood's interest in prog-rock comes to the surface on "The Gate." Rood, bassist Alex Spradling and drummer Goh Izawa engage in some devilish interplay as they create interlocking parts that move in different and surprising ways, but that's simply the leaping off point for this episodic endeavor that's driven by Izawa's dexterous drumming.

Contrast is key to the success of this music, and the pieces on The Desert And The City often differ with their tumbleweed-versus-Times Square esthetics, but all of Rood's work is brimming with thoughtfulness, sophistication and musical maturity.

Track Listing: The Desert and the City; Atonement; The Gate; Uncertainty; The Reckoning; Curious Eyes; Undeniable; Dark Star.

Personnel: Mike Rood: guitar; Alex Sprading: bass; Go Izawa: drums; Mike Bjella: saxophone.

Title: The Desert and the City | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

The Desert and the City

The Desert and the City

Mike Rood
The Desert and the City

CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
Read more articles
 

The Desert and the...

Point of Departure, WMPG-FM
2012

buy
The Desert and the City

The Desert and the...

Self Produced
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read Everything's OK CD/LP/Track Review
Everything's OK
by Doug Collette
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones Pridefully, Idiotically, Prosaically CD/LP/Track Review
Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones...
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Legacy CD/LP/Track Review
Legacy
by Doug Collette
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Other Life Forms CD/LP/Track Review
Other Life Forms
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Live At Moods CD/LP/Track Review
Live At Moods
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Runner in the Rain CD/LP/Track Review
Runner in the Rain
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 15, 2018
Read "Vestigium" CD/LP/Track Review Vestigium
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: September 15, 2018
Read "Emilio Santiago" CD/LP/Track Review Emilio Santiago
by Kevin Press
Published: July 30, 2018
Read "Smart Grid" CD/LP/Track Review Smart Grid
by Don Phipps
Published: October 14, 2018
Read "Ninety-Nine Years" CD/LP/Track Review Ninety-Nine Years
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 13, 2018
Read "Tailwind" CD/LP/Track Review Tailwind
by Gareth Thompson
Published: October 8, 2018
Read "State Of The Baritone Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018