As a bandleader, Mark Dresser has way of writing and directing the performance of others that can seem, at first blush, to be just more jazz. But given something beyond a cursory listen, this initial impression rapidly fades. On Sedimental You, which will be released next month by Clean Feed Records, he teams with luminaries Nicole Mitchell, Marty Ehrlich, Michael Dessen, Joshua White, Jim Black and David Morales Boroff.
The album’s seven compositions could easily fall in under a “chamber jazz” label, as Dresser’s compositional frameworks include ample instrumental interplay and counterpoint. But he also provides space for each of his co-conspirators to offer their own expression. The pieces are often playful, with staggered rhythms that feature Dresser’s own prodigious bass playing. Dresser also references current events in the track titles, including Hobby Lobby Horse, TrumpinPutinStoopin, and Newtown Char, and the musical themes of these pieces tie into the respective issue’s thematics. Still, one can enjoy Sedimental You on multiple levels, including as a complex romp that pushes boundaries without going significantly “outside.” A notable release.