Thursday, January 16, 2014

Frank Rosaly, Cicada Music

There is a core of Chicago new jazzmen that tend to cluster together these days. Frank Rosaly, drummer of merit and composer of magnitude, is one of them. He gathers together a group of these folks for an adventure in the new jazz, Cicada Music (Delmark 5006).

There's an excellent band in Rosaly on drums, piano and electronics, James Falzone, clarinet, Keefe Jackson, tenor sax, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, Jason Stein, bass clarinet, Jason Roebke, contrabass and cracklebox, and Jason Adasiewicz on vibes.

There are ten works to be heard. All in a way have something of the repetitive anarchy of cicadas, but never in any obvious ways. There are startling and engaging motives and some real ensemble colors to be heard with this unusual reed combination and what everybody is doing. And then of course there are some first-rate out-ish solos.

What I especially like is that you never can anticipate what is coming. It's totally without cliche and even without many of the reference points one might expect these days, though with all that bass clarinet going on with the vibes there is some very hip re-channeling of Dolphy, but again, not in any obvious way.

This one surprises but also confirms. Confirms that Rosaly and his compatriots are on some edge of newness. And it confirms that Chicago and new jazz go together as well as ever! Highly recommended.

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