Joe Rosenberg’s Affinity

THIS IS OUR LUNCH • Music & Arts CD 940

Joe Rosenberg (ss), Rob Sudduth (ts), Michael Silverman (b), Bobby Lurie (dm)

THE PENGUIN GUIDE TO JAZZ ON CD - Richard Cook/Brian Morton – 4th Edition 1999 * * (*)

The other album of the group is mostly (Dolphy’s ‘Hat And Beard’ is the exception) Rosenberg originals, strongly written themes which seem to encapsulate much of what has gone on in jazz post-Parker.  The playing on this studio recording is terse, urgent and always very immediate.  Rosenberg leads from the front as ever, a strident voice with more control than most soprano specialists can muster and a very distinctive approach to soloing.  Wonderful stuff.  Nothing will ever take the place of Dolphy or Ornette doing their own thing, but in spirit and in execution this runs them very close.

ALL-MUSIC GUIDE • Scott Yanow - January 1998  

The recording debut of Affinity finds the quartet (Joe Rosenberg on soprano, tenor saxophonist Rob Sudduth, bassist Michael Silverman and drummer Bobby Lurie) exploring nine Rosenberg originals and Eric Dolphy's "Hat & Beard." The music is essentially free bop, with strong solos from the two saxophonists, alert interplay from Silverman and Lurie, and an attractive group sound. This music rewards repeated listenings and acts as a strong beginning to this important if underrated band.

CADANCE • Leonard J. Bukowski - May 1997

This is a very compelling example of collective creative improvisation that swings a sound collection and experimentation that flows through the listener's ears.  Rosenberg and Sudduth complement each other on their respective instruments, two minds that often seem to think as one, creating sonic joy.

It is a pleasure to hear the music of Eric Dolphy played by musicians who understand the nuances of his compositions.  A very invigorating version of "Hat and Beard" is presented here, but who is playing bass clarinet?  The cohesiveness of these musicians is most impressive as they weave their way through intricate harmonies and intriguing interplay.

It is becoming more and more evident to this reviewer that, in this modern day and age, some of the best new creative improvised music is coming forth, in ever increasing numbers, on small independent labels.  This Is Our Lunch is a fine example of the delights to be heard on record labels that are not among the corporate giants of the genre.

WYKONAWCA • Pawel Baranowski – August 2004

Viva free jazz!??? Viva, viva...!!! I to w dodatku, taki stareƒki, spod znaku pierwszego kwartetu Ornette'a Colemana. Prowadzone przez Joe Rosenberga Affinity od lat nie robi w zasadzie nic innego, jak kultywuje muzyk´ Starych Mistrzów. Spod znaku Colemana waÊnie, Dolphy'ego... Free jazz, który w dzisiejszych czasach mo˝e si´ ju˝ jawiç jako muzyka lekko (przynajmniej lekko) tràcajàca myszkà. Z drugiej strony, podejÊcie Rosenberga i jego zespo u jest jakby podobne zespo om revivalowym, czy dixielandowym naszych czasów. Skoro tamte grupy mogà kultywowaç tradycj´ jazzu praktycznie z jego poczàtków, to dlaczego nie mo˝e istnieç zespó, który b´dzie gra „tradycyjny”, amerykaƒski free jazz? Przy czym sowem kluczowym jest nawet nie „free” i nie „tradycyjny”, a „amerykaƒski”. Ta muzyka zdecydowanie ró˝nia si´ i ró˝ni od jego europejskiej odmiany. Sporo tu bluesa, sporo si´gajàcych poczàtków muzyki jazzowej odniesieƒ. Oboj´tnie co jest grane, niewa˝ne, ˝e nie sà to standardy, jednak ka˝dy zagrany dêwi´k brzmi standardowo, tradycyjnie.

"This Is Our Lunch” nie jest zatem pytà dla wielbicieli nowinek. Nie jest chyba nawet pytà dla osób, które lubiàc free, poszukujà wcià˝ w tej muzyce czegoÊ nowego i tego waÊnie od niej oczekujà. Ci, którzy lubià okreÊlone brzmienie, okreÊlony sposób porozumienia pomi´dzy muzykami b´dà si´ bawiç tà pytà wyÊmienicie. Nie jest to zatem propozycja dla ka˝dego, ale sympatycy „The Shape of Jazz to Come”, czy „Live in a Five Spot” powinni znaleêç w muzyce tej wystarczajàcà zabaw´.

Viva free jazz! ??? Viva, viva ... !!! And in addition, such an old fashioned one, under the sign of Ornette Coleman's first quartet. Led by Joe Rosenberg, Affinity has for years done nothing but cultivating the music of the Old Masters. From the sign of Coleman, and Dolphy ... Free jazz, which nowadays may appear as music that slightly (at least slightly) nudges the mouse. On the other hand, the approach of Rosenberg and his band is somewhat similar to the revival or dixieland bands of our time. Since those groups can cultivate the jazz tradition practically from its beginnings, why can't there be a band that will play "traditional" American free jazz? The key word is not even "free" and not "traditional", but "American". This music is definitely different from and different from the European variety. There is a lot of blues here, a lot of references dating back to the beginnings of jazz music. No matter what is played, no matter if they are not standards, each played note sounds standard, traditional.

"This Is Our Lunch" is therefore not a question for lovers of news. It is probably not even a question for people who like free music, are still looking for something new in this music and this is what they expect from it. Those who like a certain sound, a certain way of understanding between musicians will have fun with this question. Therefore, it is not a proposition for everyone, but fans of "The Shape of Jazz to Come" or "Live in a Five Spot" should find enough fun in this music.