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Varmint by Jason Adasiewicz's Rolldown

A major force in Chicago’s jazz and improvisation circles, vibist Jason Adasiewicz’s second group-led release comprises the element of surprise along with familiar persuasions. With cool, and velvety horns choruses, the leader dishes out sustainable themes built on knotty time signatures and buoyant flows. As a vibist, Adasiewicz, works underneath, over-the-top and weaves throughout, while adding texture and keeping the listener on his or her toes sans any bombastic discourses.

The program features polytonal shadings conjured by the three-man frontline including reedman Aram Shelton and cornetist Josh Berman. They fuse off-kilter passages with counterbalancing statements. Yet on the piece titled "Hide," the quintet aligns old school bop with a modern flair, where they intersperse avant-garde aspects with a 1960s like foundation amid a few wily and vociferous meltdowns. In addition, the band renders a brooding motif on the asymmetrical and self-regenerating type mindset the musicians exercise on "Punchbug," where Shelton’s lyrical clarinet lines are shrewdly offset by Berman’s forceful cornet phrasings. It’s a study in multihued contrasts, indeed.

Adasiewicz and his band-mates conjure up a seamless blend of progressive-jazz and focused group interaction that attains a thoroughly enjoyable composite outlook. The artists morph the best of various musical notions and stylizations into a distinctive approach via these resonating performances that offer a prismatic exposition of compositional acumen and emotive improvisational movements.

- Glenn Astarita

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Jason Adasiewicz's Rolldown
  • CD Title: Varmint
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: Cuneiform Records
  • Musicians: Jason Adasiewicz (vibraphone), Josh Berman (cornet), Aram Shelton (alto saxophone and clarinet), Jason Roebke (bass), Frank Rosaly (drums)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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