Josh Roseman Treats for the Nightwalker Review

Released 2004.  

BBC Review

Second album from trombonist and composer Josh Roseman, featuring saxophonists Peter...

Peter Marsh 2003

Though Josh Roseman's not exactly a household name, he's been a fixture on New York's vibrant jazz scene for over a decade. Working with the likes of Oliver Lake, Don Byron, Joey Baron and most recently Dave Holland's all conquering big band, his playing has attracted praise from from critics and musicians like Lester Bowie and Roswell Rudd. It's easy to see why; Roseman has a sweet, fat tone and a formidable technique (he's conservatory trained). On the evidence of this CD (his second as leader) he's also developing some pretty impressive skills as a leader and composer too.

There's a hint of M-Base in the way Roseman stretches and compresses funk into ever shifting time signatures, but this is richer, less twitchy stuff. This is partly due to keyboardist Barney McCall, whose glowing chordal shapes add harmonic movement to Roseman's bubbling riffs. Mcall is also credited with 'dub tactics', and there's a dubwise sense of space and texture throughout most of the music (strangely, things only really go awry when the band actually attempt a bit of reggae on "Long Day, Short Night").

Drummer Billy Kilson and a cast of percussionists cook up febrile, restless grooves, aided by bubbling electric basslines. Roseman shares solo space with the saxophones of Peter Apfelbaum and Chris Potter among others; baritone, flute and trumpet trace langorous melodies, shadow intricate basslines or fire off precise stabs. On a few tracks a string trio add flourishes of exotica; these are thoughtful, sometimes beautiful arrangements that are always on the move.

Roseman's tromboneproduces aluscious noise;his electrified solo on the octopoidally grooving"Are You There ?" is a gorgeous melange of smeared phrases and aching, wah'ed lines. The electronics extend rather than mask Roseman's natural tone. He keeps things simple compared to the more garrulous contributions of his bandmates, opting for cleanly articulated line rather than a thick spattering of notes.

Potter and Apfelbaum make up for the leader's reticence with densely argued flurries; Apfelbaum is especially fiery on tenor, while altoist Myron Walden slips in a couple of valuable, astringent solos. Potter is typically wondrous.

Treats for the Nightwalker marks Roseman as a bandleader and composer with a lot of promise; music made with this much intelligence and passion is definitely worth your time.

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