8/3/05

Josh Roseman- Super Freak


While I was living in NYC it seemed that every time I went to hear a larger ensemble, Josh Roseman was playing bone. We first played together with Rob Scheps' 'True Colors' big band in Boston. He was always ready to freak out at the drop of a hat. Josh was trained at New England Conservatory, so he has phenomenal chops and can read flyshit. But it's what he does with those chops that makes him so interesting. Like 'Fuze' he is all over the map. Fuze is more concerned with fusing styles together, where I think Josh is just plain uninhibited. He takes the listeners on a wild ride and tries very hard to blow their minds. He's meticulous about this wild ride mind you. His compositions are dense, highly orchestrated and harmonically complex. I think that his musical interests are so varied that he needs to keep things interesting for himself. This makes him highly unpredictable.

As a leader his concept is always thought out and sometimes highly abstract. He reminds me of an abstract expressionist painter who surpises you with a photo-realistic painting when you're not expecting it . One could even say that his musical concept is 'painterly'. He has a wide palette to choose from. He has a solid grounding in classical technique. He's a super funk machine, a Ska-master, a downtown avant-garde scenester, an M-basehead, and plays mean straight-ahead. I don't see how anyone could be any more versatile without having a nervous breakdown.

These are just some of the artists that Josh has recorded with :
Dave Holland, Dave Douglas, Don Byron, Steve Coleman, Butter 08, Vinicius Cantuaria, Dubchek, Alex Sipiagin, Towa Tei, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Lester Bowie, Uri Caine, Roswell Rudd, John Zorn, Brooklyn Funk Essentials, Sean Lennon, Oliver Lake, Dead Prez, Ron Sexsmith, Cibo Matto, the Roots, Groove Collective, Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Ron Blake.

When I first got to NYC I played several gigs with Josh's band. The music was some of the outest and hardest that I'd played in some time. It would go from a bleep-festival to highly intricate techno-funk in about two seconds.

I was on his site the other day listening to his new recording called
'Treats for the Nightwalker'. It blew me away. It seemed like all Josh's varied musical experiences were really starting to gel into a cohesive.

Here's what the press had to say about the CD. I would have to agree with everything here:

[Roseman] will most definitely make an indelible mark on 21st century jazz. NILS JACOBSON, ALL ABOUT JAZZ

He has really made an amazing statement with the music, which grooves and creates great atmospheres, and melodies and arrangements that are so now and totally happening. BETH PEERLESS, MONTEREY HERALD

Roseman, leader of the crew responsible for the very sexy and smart 'Treats for the Nightwalker'...brings the trombone out of anachronism and into the future of jazz...Roseman and his Unit arrive with a sinuous, seductive sound that massages the mind and moves the butt. JONATHAN ZWICKEL, SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN

A fusion of this kind has never sounded better. All this and a loose, soulful, partylicious vibe carried out by a punchy horn section makes 'Treats' something that is both very unique and quite fun. TAD HENDRICKSON, CMJ WEEKLY

..Dense, layered material that sounds at times symphonic -- that is, if your symphony had a passion for deep, funky grooves... no modern music fan should miss [the Josh Roseman Unit]. MARCUS CROWDER, SACRAMENTO BEE

Jazz players with great chops and a personal sound are a dime a dozen these days. What Roseman brings to the table is rarer by far: vision. 'Treats for the Nightwalker' is overflowing with it.
KEVIN CONVEY, BOSTON HERALD

Finally, something that touches on the righteous eclecticism of the New York nu-jazz thing: homage to the forefathers and a pimp-strut towards the future. Josh Roseman, trombonist extraordinaire and general purveyor of groove, delivers an album of monstrous ambition and dreamy jazzscapes that traverses a multitude of destinations...'Treats for the Nightwalker' turns an exciting new page in the annals of progressive jazz flavors. BRIAN GETZ, JAMBASE

Josh Roseman has a sweet, fat tone and a formidable technique.... On the evidence of this CD, he's also developing some pretty impressive skills as a leader and composer... These are thoughtful, sometimes beautiful arrangements that are always on the move. Music made with this much intelligence and passion is definitely worth your time.
PETER MARSH, BBC
This CD will blow your mind. I'm going to order it right now..........

For those of you who were referred by Josh's post on the bone forum:
I had a half completed post about Josh in my drafts box. Then I noticed that I was getting referrals from his kind post about my Blog. As soon as he put up that posting I decided to finish my article about him. I wanted to let you know that he was not self-promoting by mentioning this Blog as a good source of improv info. Sorry to embarrass you Josh. :-)

2 comments:

Steve said...

Thanks for a blog that's worthwhile, to say the least - you're a great writer in addition to your other talents, and your energy is inspiring, truly.

steve

Brian Berge said...

This stuff is beautiful! I really like a lot of it, but in the tune "Treats for the Nightwalker", the time modulation followed by violin, guitar & brass themes sounds like some of the best of one of my all-time favorites: The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Thanks for this!