Artist: The Daniel Rosenboom Septet
Album: Fallen Angeles
Genre: Free Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz
Label: Nine Winds Records
Recording Date: 2011
Size: 276 MB
The son of jazz pianist David Rosenboom (who serves as a member of the septet) and one of the most innovative modern trumpet virtuosos, Los Angeles’ own Daniel Rosenboom has come a long way in a short time. His 2006 debut Bloodier, Mean Son took the underground jazz world by surprise through its strange combination of jazz, rock, and electronics. Since then, he has released one other solo album, five with his experimental-jazz-metal bands PLOTZ! and DR. MiNT, and six with other groups, all leading up to his most recent release of Fallen Angeles.
Rosenboom’s playing is as strong as ever, and his composition skills shine on the album. Though it is one of the only all-acoustic albums he has performed on, the intensity of his earlier work still burns through, and the balance between the instrumentalists is strong. Rosenboom may be the bandleader here, but he’s not out of place in the group of talented musicians. Fallen Angeles is tight and clean; with just over a 45 minute runtime, the seven musicians take the listener through a dark, mysterious, and yet still romantic view of their home city.
The album begins with “Ideology”, one of the standout tracks, and one of the heaviest. Quick horn lines and screaming upper register down to low tone jumps grab the listener from the very beginning. From there, we hear the septet slow to the brooding title track, briefly pick up again, and enter the five movement suite that makes up the centerpiece of the album.
“Meditation” builds slowly through soft and mysterious piano and flute lines to the raging intensity of “Confrontation,” a sax and trumpet highlight, and “Fury,” where Vinny Golia (not a member of the live lineup) growls out melodies on his tubax (modified contrabass saxophone) and Rosenboom replies. “Transformation” brings the intensity down again, followed by some of Rosenboom’s more bluesy writing as the bass, piano, drums, and bass clarinet are highlighted, and transitions into “Elation,” a track that begins with soft and sweet piano chords but picks up speed and ends with a dissonant resolution in direct contrast to the title of the piece.
Though the album as a whole leans toward the progressive and the experimental, “Espionage” reveals some catchy leads, and the closing track, “While She Sleeps”, is a beautiful smooth jazz ballad, complete with (instrumental) hook which would not be out of place on a pop album, and offers a calm and emotional ending to the chaos portrayed in the first eight tracks. Daniel Rosenboom has placed himself in a strange corner of jazz; not quite traditional, but by no means fully avant-garde. Fallen Angeles is not mainstream, but definitely accessible. It is highly recommended to jazz and rock fans alike.
Daniel Rosenboom: trumpet
Gavin Templeton: alto sax & flute
Brian Walsh: bass clarinet & baritone sax
Vinny Golia: tubax & alto flute
David Rosenboom: piano
Sam Minaie: bass
Caleb Dolister: drums
2. Fallen Angeles
9. While She Slept