This live double CD is Daniel Rosenboom’s follow up to last year’s Fire Keeper, and was recorded live at Los Angeles’ Blue Whale on May 7, 2014. The first disc consists of the 31-minute Astral Transference, while the second features the longer, multi-part Seven Dreams.
The group includes Rosenboom on trumpet, Artyom Manukyan on cello and effects, Joshua White on piano, Richard Giddens on bass, and Gene Coye on drums. But Astral Transference uses a jazz octet arrangement, augmenting the sound with Gavin Templeton on alto sax, Jon Armstrong on tenor sax, and Alexander Noice on guitar and effects.
Astral Transference is the tightest composition, with as much of a Steve Reich influence as that of Wadada Leo Smith. The octet presents a contrapunctal wall of spiky noise, with the horns and guitar dancing around one another, while the piano and cello stake out strong positions. Somehow, the tracks covers both minimalist and “maximalist” styles, with interlocked melodies but a pounding and dense structure.
Seven Dreams is a more customary suite, giving each musician room to stretch out, improvise and solo. For instance, The Tears of Venus features a lengthy bass solo, and piano dominates a good portion of Chatting with the Moon. Dancing on the Rings of Saturn provides a catchy melody accompanied by some inspired noodling, while Throwing Fire at the Sky is a rousing piece where Rosenboom and Manukyan play on top of tense rhythms from other three.
Astral Transference and Seven Dreams are two sides of a coin. The former a demanding chunk of avant-jazz, while the latter is more conventional (if one can even use that word to describe the group), yet still featuring free-form blow-outs. Rosenboom has hit a high point in this release, and with any luck, this is an example of much more to come.
Read our interview with Daniel, and check out the live performance of Astral Transference: