lundi 28 septembre 2009

Steven Bernstein + Marcus Rojas + Kresten Osgood : "Tatoos & mushrooms"

(Ilk Music, 2008)

Featuring Steven Bernstein on trumpet & slide trumpets, Marcus Rojas on tuba and Kresten Osgood on drums. Multi-bandleader, arranger and trumpet hero Steve Bernstein never seems to rest. Besides running Sex Mob and the Millennial Territory Orchestra, he has four fabulous discs on Tzadik and has worked with Lounge Lizards, Kamikaze Ground Crew, Max Nagl's Big Four, Satoko Fujii and Mario Pavone. He was also a member of an early downtown trio called Spanish Fly with Dave Tronzo and Marcus Rojas, who still get together on occasion when Tronzo is in town. Since Mr. Tronzo has relocated to the Boston area, Spanish Fly plays gigs with guest members like Ned Rothenberg. Hence this new trio with Marcus Rojas and Danish drum wiz Kresten Osgood, who seems to get around and appears on more discs than I can count. It is Kresten who is the main composer on this disc.
The very first sound you hear on this disc is Marcus playing his tuba like a dijeradoo, making this spooky hum/growl. Besides four originals by Kresten, there are a few select and diverse covers by Charles Brackeen, Thelonius Monk, Charles Mingus and Hank Williams. Charles Brackeen's "Prince of Night" starts things off and is a perfect opening piece. It has a peaceful, spiritual vibe and a delicate, somber melody. Kresten's skeletal yet seductive "Hope for Denmark" shows how to set the scene with a minimum of notes. It reminds me of how the blues works best with a handful of select notes, where each one counts. Marcus Rojas is a master tuba player with his own distinctive sound and approach. He starts Monk's "Thelonius" by rubbing and tapping on his tuba while he hums of just plays a certain eerie notes. When he switches to the bass line, he sounds totally old school and filled with friendly swagger. "Scaramanga" is an eerie, spacy improvised trio that floats freely and thoughtfully. Kresten's drums are recorded with breathtaking care and are at the center of "Abington". His mallet use is sublime and works well with Steve's haunting muted trumpet and Marcus cosmic droning tuba. Initially I thought that there is nothing that connects Mingus' "Eastcoasting" with Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry". Both were written in the fifties and played next to each other, they both evoke a certain timeless quality, especially the way the trio turn Hank's song inside out and sent it to the outer space. The feeling that I get from this gem is that it is Kresten that called the shots and organized to session. This is indeed a wonderful job from all three members of this phenomenal trio.

Bruce Lee Gallanter (Downtown Music Gallery)


2 commentaires:

E-mile a dit…

ExXxcellent music, great album! thank you very much for sharing this gem...Now I'm on the look-out for more Bernstein, that's for sure!
peace, E-mile

fusionero a dit…

waht's up, i've been lookinf for this a while, i almost pissed off my pants when finally found it here through captain crawl, many thanks for this share, i still have to take a look to rhe blog but i guess i'll find a lot of great stuff so i'll keep on tune. regards and many thanks again