Josh Roseman Treats For The Nightwalker

This is an ambitious album. Written for, and played live by an ensemble of more than 20 musicians by scoring parts on computer, it's an enterprise that demands a great deal of experience in the recording process. This is not the kind of music that requires similar production values to any beat-oriented production. Amazingly, it works. This album delivers on its intention to incorporate just about every aspect of the contemporary jazz experience. Treats contains improvising both inside and out, collectively and individually, dub, funk, blues, electronics, African accents and more. This music has its roots in Gil Evans, Henry Threadgill, George Russell, Don Cherry and other "total musics with grooves.” He employs highly trained musicians, but no one comes off sounding like note-perfect conservators of Marsalis-ed jazz. Everyone gets greasy — the 11-minute funk workout "Meera" being a high point. Roseman himself stretches out his superb technique on trombone with great harmonic choices and inventive electronic processing. While pretty much every song has stretches that threaten to slide into Sting-like territory, the massive, shifting arrangements move around so often that whole songs are never contaminated. Barney McCall's dub elements are integral and highly successful, redeeming some of his questionable choices in keyboard washes. I just keep listening to this album, and coming from a jaded critic, there's no greater compliment. Nuff respect. (Enja)