Jason Adasiewicz's Rolldown Varmint

Vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz is a bright light in Chicago's ever-expanding jazz universe, having played in ensembles led by the likes of Rob Mazurek and Ken Vandermark. His group, Rolldown, have been active since 2004, yet Varmint is merely the quintet's second release. An astounding player and keen bandleader, Adasiewicz is steeped in his city's jazz history, reaching back to the '60s for inspiration. Yet the six tracks found on Varmint also offer up a modern flair that bears the signature of a forward-thinking composer. The music swings pleasantly, yet it doesn't feel stuffy or old hat. Cornetist Josh Berman and sax/clarinet maestro Aram Shelton offer up some excellent playing, while Adasiewicz shows off his mastery of the vibes. One gets the sense that all of the players are in complete control, a stunning feat of improvisatory composition. (Cuneiform)