161

Josh Roseman Unit: Treats for the Nightwalker

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Josh Roseman Unit: Treats for the Nightwalker The second record by Josh Roseman's Unit is constructed, piece by piece, from a massive collection of parts. The 23 players who participate in the extravaganza are for the most part well-recognized, accomplished musicians, which makes the disc all the more rich in anticipation. But oddly enough, solo space per se is generally contained, metered out in order to create just enough drama to render the music exciting.

Roseman's production was planned in meticulous detail during the trombonist's very busy schedule as sideman to the stars, including Dave Holland and Dave Douglas. His work in a variety of contexts has marked him as a talented team player and improviser, and so it's fitting that he would emerge as a committed composer in his own right.

Consider Treats for the Nightwalker a successor to the big band tradition, picking up pieces from '60s avant experimentation, '70s funk, '80s fusion, '90s MBASE logic, and '00s urban grooves. Rhythmically the music obeys the backbeat, whether in a funky or retro-synth fashion. The most effective playing in this department comes from the sticks of band mate Billy Kilson.

Harmonically, these pieces are constructed as a series of units strung together, chord changes very clearly delineated by the abundance of musicians. But there are moments when things open up (as on the gentle, drone-like "Prospect") or constrict (as on the crowded MBASE jam of "Meera"). Except for the first and last pieces, each of these tunes features eight to fifteen players, which means that soloists stand on a thick platform. The passionate and personal voices of Myron Walden, Peter Apfelbaum, and Jay Rodrigues stand out alongside the leader's.

Roseman's record represents a statement of the state of the art, and it deserves lots of credit for taking risks with composition, performance, and production. But in the end the very ambition of Treats renders it so top-heavy that it falters in postmodern complexity. By no means an easy listen, the record rewards attention with detail—but it sacrifices clarity along the way. Perhaps listeners more attuned to crowded arrangements and the blocky progressions of '80s fusion will find satisfaction in this disc, but to these ears it falls short.

Do not dismiss Josh Roseman, whatever your opinion of this record. He will most definitely make an indelible mark on 21st century jazz. Just give him time.

Visit Josh Roseman and Justin Time on the web.


Track Listing: Organ Invocation; Sedate Remix. LDSN; Treats for teh Nightwalker; Are You There?; Long Day; Short Night; Meera; Prospect; Regression; Piano Outro.

Personnel: Josh Roseman: trombone; Peter Apfelbaum: tenor sax, flute, organ; Barney McCall: piano, keyboards, dub tactics; Ben Monder: guitar; Jon Maron: bass; Billy Kilson: drums; Special guests: Russell Gunn: trumpet, flugelhorn; Myron Walden: alto, flute; Chris Potter: saxophone; Jay Rodrigues: baritone, flute; Peck Allmond: trumpet, flute; Liberty Ellman: guitar; Adam Rogers: guitar; Patrice Blanchard: bass; J.T. Lewis: drums; Diego Voglino: drums; Ben Perosky: percussion; Daniel Moreno: percussion; Mark Feldman: violin; Mat Maneri: viola; Dan Leong: cello; Rufus Cappadocia: cello; Josh Camp: accordion.

Title: Treats for the Nightwalker | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Enja Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Aquarelle" CD/LP/Track Review Aquarelle
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 7, 2017
Read "The Art of the Improv Trio Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review The Art of the Improv Trio Volume 1
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Graviton" CD/LP/Track Review Graviton
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture" CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 13, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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