LAJC Picks: TUESDAY 3/18 Daniel Rosenboom Quintet releases Fire Keeper at CAP STUDIOS

Posted by GF

Daniel Rosenboom Quintet
Tuesday, March 18 8pm
CAP Studios, Sherman Oaks CA

Rosenboom, trumpet
Gavin Templeton, woodwinds
Alex Noice, guitar
Kai Kurosawa, Bear Trax
Dan Schnelle, drums

There are some people who seem predisposed to making things happen. Trumpeter Daniel Rosenboom is certainly one of those guys. In just the past year, he’s created a new musical co-op venture, Creative Underground Los Angeles, and launched his own record label, Orenda Records. He’s also recorded, by my count, six albums under his own name. Katy Perry only has five (unless you count the one under her real name, Katy Hudson. Should I know this?)

I had the honor to write a few words for Rosenboom’s latest album, Fire Keeper, which is the music and the musicians featured Tuesday night at the CAP. What follows are some excerpts from those notes:

Daniel Rosenboom is a man of competing juxtapositions. As a composer he is a master of form and structure, but enjoys the expansive freedom of improvising in free jazz.  His trumpet playing is lyrical and melodic, yet his aesthetic sensibilities often trend toward progressive metal and experimental rock. He is classically trained but reveres such classic rock artists such as Nirvana, Hendrix, Zappa, and Zepplin right alongside Beethoven and Brahms. Yet somehow his paradoxes have a deeper connection, to the point where it’s not a stretch to incorporate modern jazz and new music composition techniques in a classic rock setting with Native American imagery. Jimi Hendrix had Cherokee blood and was slated to join Miles Davis’ band before he died, so perhaps there’s some precedent here.

In Fire Keeper Rosenboom channels his inner Tadodaho, becoming the musical high priest, the master choreographer of this strange dance, inviting rock n’ roll and modern music to meet and move in intimate rhythm.  He orchestrates his fellow band-mates into the experience, brilliantly utilizing their unique gifts: alto saxophonist Gavin Templeton and his polished harmony lines and emotionally raw virtuosic explosions; guitarist Alexander Noice, whose guitar intelligence is only matched by his ability to shred like a fucking shredder; Kai Kurosawa, master of the Bear Trax, a mysterious instrument with twelve strings on a giant fretboard (something one would expect to see in the cantina band on Tattooine); Dan Schnelle, a drummer best know for his exquisite, fiery jazz chops who for this album has managed to effectuate a blend of Vinny Colaiuta and Dave Grohl.  Rosenboom mostly leads by melody with strong and beautiful lines defining the character and intention of each piece. At other times his silent presence allows his band to freely explore the music of his instigation.  Another shaman by the name of Miles Davis once perfected this art of judicious involvement.

Perhaps the most impressive achievement from Rosenboom is how he disguises musical innovation and complexity into rock forms that sound much easier than they are.  Hearing beats (more common in rock, blues and metal) might precondition the ear to hear things on a simpler, more visceral level. However, one glance at the sheet music reveals layers of brilliance and a high degree of difficulty to execute and nearly impossible to sight-read — the band rehearsed extensively before daring to venture into the studio.

Fire Keeper is Rosenboom’s most complete realization of his unique artistic vision to date.  He says, “This is what I’ve been hearing forever, spiraling around, trying to get close to it…If you have a vision of a kind of shape, you must strive to represent it as clearly as you can.”  It is Rosenboom’s hope for more people to see “art music” as more than just intellectually stimulating. It’s also something to crank up in the car, get wild to in a mosh pit, or even dance around to in an Iriquois ceremonial ritual fire.

This will be a great show.

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