Astral Transference/Seven Dreams
Los Angeles has a habit of throwing up musicians at odds with the mainstream. Ornette Coleman’s free jazz revolution began there, for instance, and Frank Zappa’s genre-bending body of work is among the twentieth century’s most distinctive. This is the third Daniel Rosenboom opus reviewed in these pages, and with each the LA trumpeter further confirms that he is not only a musician of the highest calibre, but another who thinks differently.
Recorded live, this double album gives nothing away to Rosenboom’s studio releases in terms of complexity, subtlety and textural nuance. Add his love of continually evolving contexts for the improvising, and his exceptional players (on cello, piano, bass, drums, saxophones and guitar) are being pushed and liberated simultaneously. They are also kindred spirits in eschewing jazz clichés as they traverse territory that ranges from ferocious backbeats to metric modulation, from lyrical pools to electronic labyrinths and from highly notated to completely free material. This thrilling album restores one’s faith that amid all the music-by-numbers genuinely creative forces are still at work.