AMN Reviews: Daniel Rosenboom Quintet – Fire Keeper (2014; Orenda Records)

Fire Keeper Cover 1400x1400Daniel Rosenboom is proving to be a prolific fellow, releasing two albums last year and (so far) this one in 2014.  As usual, Rosenboom combines rock, jazz, and classical in a rather unique and engaging fashion.  Rosenboom wields the trumpet, and is joined by Gavin Templeton on sax and winds, Alexander Noice on guitar, Kai Kurosawa on the BearTrax (a custom 12-string bass/guitar), and Dan Schnelle on drums.

The first track, Leaving Moscow begins with a low-key horn and picked guitar interlude, before getting into an aggressive main riff. The quintet’s bread and butter seems to be when guitar and horn join together in a complex theme that serves as a jumping off point for various solos. In that sense, this offering comes across as a more jazzy and less heavy version of Sacramento’s Avant Garden, or a speculation on what kind of music David Torn would be writing in 2014 if he was under the spell of Frank Zappa.

But then again, the guitar and drums on Hush Money is straight from 90’s hard rock, at least until the trumpet and sax come in and the band starts changing up the time. And Holiday Motel is a more introspective piece that takes it down a bit.

But these guys aren’t afraid hit it hard, paying homage to rock and jazz often in the same track. The result is a complex, yet ultimately catchy, set of tunes. But be careful – you might break a few bones trying to move your body to Fire Keeper.  As the debut release of Rosenboom’s new imprint, Orenda Records, this quintet has set the bar high, and I’m looking forward to what else the label offers.