Joe Rosenberg Group

THE LONG & SHORT OF IT • Black Saints 120142-2

Joe Rosenberg (ss), Jean-Luc Guionnet (as), Olivier Py (ts), Hubertus Biermann (b), Edward Perraud (dr)

ALL ABOUT JAZZ • Vittorio Lo Conte – July 2003  ★★★ 1⁄2

Il quintetto del sassofonista soprano Joe Rosenberg ha registrato The Long & Short of It per la Black Saint insieme a Jean-Luc Guionette al sax alto, Olivier Py al sax tenore, Hubertus Biermann al contrabbasso e Edward Perraud alle percussioni. Anche questa è un´incisione free, ma con assunti di partenza diversi da quelli degli album appena descritti. Rosenberg è stato influenzato da Anthony Braxton e nelle note di copertina riporta un paio di frasi del suo maestro cercando così di chiarire la sua visione della musica: "Non sono interessato ad una musica che parli solo di me. Mi interessa controllare quelle componenti che hanno a che fare con quello che sento di poter controllare".

Rosenberg propone un free in cui struttura e controllo della musica hanno ancora spazio. Le otto composizioni proposte lo vedono in situazioni abbastanza eterogenee in cui dialoga con i musicisti francesi. Fra questi spicca Jean-Luc Guionnet al sax contralto, dalla voce a tratti roca come i freejazzmen degli anni `60. Anche la sezione ritmica è di buon livello e si adegua con duttilità alle esigenze delle atmosfere delle composizioni di Rosenberg. Durante i più di settanta minuti di durata di questo disco non mancano i momenti informi e magmatici, seguiti da situazioni più controllate. Una varietà che facilita l´ascolto e che comunque era negli assunti di partenza di Rosenberg, un sassofonista free che ama le strutture all´interno delle quali la sua musica si trova a suo agio.

The quintet of soprano saxophone player Joe Rosenberg recorded “The Long & Short of It” for Black Saint together with Jean-Luc Guionnet on alto sax, Olivier Py on tenor sax, Hubertus Biermann on bass and Edward Perraud on percussion. Also this is an engraving free, but with different propositions of departure from those of the album just described. Rosenberg was influenced by Anthony Braxton and in the cover notes restores a couple of sentences from his teacher seeking so to explain his sight of the music: "I am not interested in a music that is alone about me. I am interested in monitoring those components that have to do with what I hear about to be able to monitor".

Rosenberg proposes a free in which structure and control of the music still have space. The eight compositions proposed see it in enough situations heterogeneous in which converses with the French musicians. Between these outstanding Jean-Luc Guionnet to the sax contralto, from the voice to hoarse strokes like the freejazzmen of the years 60. Also the rhythmic section is of good level and it is adapted with duttilità to the requirements of the atmospheres of the compositions of Rosenberg. During the more than seventy minutes of duration of this disk do not be lacking the shapeless moments and magnetism, you continue from situations more monitored. An it will vary that it facilitates listening and that however was in the propositions of departure of Rosenberg, a saxophone player free that loves the structures all inside of which its music is found to its comfort.

GAZ-ETA • Tom Sekowski - aktualny numer 56 czeriec-lipiec 2007

After interesting Eric Dolphy and Ornette Coleman tributes [with his former ensemble Affinity], soprano saxophonist Joe Rosenberg now pulls out all punches and presents his most recent quintet. "The Long & Short Of It" is a concoction of eight of the most fiery ensemble pieces Joe has played on. From the over-the-top "Detritus" to the equally intense "Go", the album shines through and through with top notch musicianship. Three sax assaults - Rosenberg on soprano, Jean-Luc Guionette on alto and Olivier Py on tenor - are prevalent throughout the recording. Don't get me wrong, there are still some rich and satisfying ballads here. Take "Stasis" for instance. As Rosenberg gently introduces the motif, Oliver Py begins a mid-tempo tenor solo and a few minutes later Jean-Luc Guionette does the same on his horn. When the brass trio really belts out a number, they don't hold back. On "C'est Facile" they play melodies off one another and each player uses the other more or less as a sounding board. Crunchy and direct solos are what these three do best and there's plenty of energy in every tiny note they play. All fire and fury, Joe Rosenberg comes back in fine style.                                        

CADENCE • Jay Collins - June 2004

As many readers know, the Black Saint and Soul Note labels are responsible for releasing some of the most exciting and lasting music from both American and European sources during the late twentieth century.  The label is still alive and kicking and in fact, 2004 is the labels’ twenty-fifth anniversary.  The following looks at three new releases including one on Italian Jazz-focused label, DDQ (Dischi Della Quercia).

First up is the latest record from the Joe Rosenberg Group.  Soprano saxophonist Rosenberg might not be much of a know name, but he has been at it for many years.  His records as a leader don’t offer much to those looking for familiar themes or easily digestible snippets of familiarity, rather, they are somewhat arcane and, dare one say, abstract.  Specifically, the investigation of complex written and open improvisations that examine sound exploration are part of Rosenberg’s methodology.  

On (this release), he demonstrates his continuing commitment to challenging both himself and the listeners by creating “new ways to organize so called `free improvisation’” (which Rosenberg believes has not been exhausted).  This session balances the divergent compositional and instrumental interests by utilizing the musicians to create this invigorating and compelling group music.

Take the first track, “Allez” that initially begins as a colloquy between the sax front line, as each instrument (including the rhythm) ponders and propose their ideas.  The real marvel here is alto saxophonist Jean-Luc Guionnet, with his feisty, twittering bursts that inspire the group verve.  The Braxtonian-like “”Detritus” is a feature for Rosenberg’s soprano and tenor saxophonist Olivier Py who eventually meet up with Guionnet, as bassist Hubertus Biermann’s frosty arco and drummer Edward Perraud’s skittish drums provide the excitable undercurrents.

Similar loosely structured realms are also explored on “Go” and the record’s lengthiest investigation, “Motion,” with its staccato, free movement throughout.  The group also ventures into more subdued territory on “What It Is,” with Rosenberg’s lines focusing less on angularity and rather, on fluidity and “Stasis,” a melancholy reflection that features similar linear movement.

Finally, tracks like “The Long and Short Of It,” with its probing bass vamp and “C’est Facile” thrive on a momentum guided by the strength of the Biermann/Perraud rhythmic drive.  Indeed, a fantastic release that is a worthy addition to the rich Black Saint catalog.