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Jazz - Released October 27, 2017 | RareNoiseRecords

Hi-Res Distinctions Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

At first blush, adding Roswell Rudd to a group of native West African musicians might seem, well, stretched. Surprisingly, though, it proves a remarkably impressive combination -- in large part due to the simple melodies, the opportunity for the trombonist to stretch out, and the quality of the band. Curiously, although recorded in Mali, half of the tunes are not indigenous to the region: Three are by Rudd, "Jackie-ing" is, of course, by Monk, and "All Through the Night" is a traditional Welsh song. Rudd plays the only Western-style horn (the others perform on a variety of local instruments or contribute vocals), and his burly tone and raunchy swagger take full advantage of the moment. The trombonist is in prime form, relaxed and expansive. The Africans are splendid, too, not only laying down a sympathetic carpet of light percussion over which the trombonist improvises but also providing some interesting diversions on instruments such as the kora, the balophone, the djembe, and the ngone. The acclaimed Toumani Diabate is co-leader of the session, contributes a few pieces, and shines on his native kora (a 21-stringed harp). "Jackie-ing" is perhaps the most interesting of the tunes, if only because it is so difficult for the Africans to manage. As Rudd explains in his notes, the tradition among the Africans is to focus on simple riffs as accompaniments and to continue to explore sections to their fullest rather than jumping to the next section of a song. Ultimately, these issues (and others) are worked out, and Monk is given a sort of facelift that proves compelling. Overall, the band is tight and well-rehearsed, Rudd's solos rival his best, and the tunes are catchy, simple, and accessible. Fans of the trombonist or of West African music will not wish to miss the opportunity to pick up this rare and exciting collaboration. © Steven Loewy /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Recorded live at New York's Jazz Standard in 2000, this generally excellent CD marks the reunion of two avant-garde improvisers who were separated for way too long: tenor man Archie Shepp and trombonist Roswell Rudd. The jazzmen played together a lot during the turbulent 1960s but, regrettably, they didn't record together at all in the 1970s, 1980s, or 1990s. After more than 30 years apart, was that old chemistry still there? Absolutely. A 63-year-old Shepp (who doubles on piano) and a 65-year-old Rudd have no problem bringing out the best in one another whether they are embracing pieces from the 1960s (including Shepp's remorseful "Steam") or turning their attention to songs they wrote in the 1980s or 1990s such as Rudd's "Bamako" and Shepp's "Hope No. 2." Some people might wish that the veteran jazzmen paid more attention to their 1960s work, but Live in New York isn't meant to be an exercise in nostalgia. Shepp and Rudd (who are joined by trombonist Grachan Moncur III, bassist Reggie Workman, and drummer Andrew Cyrille) aren't trying to recreate the past -- nor should they. But that doesn't mean that they aren't excited about being reunited; they bring a wealth of enthusiasm to their post-bop and avant-garde performances -- none of which are as extreme as some of the blistering free jazz that Shepp provided in the 1960s. Shepp's "Déjà-Vu," in fact, is a hauntingly pretty torch ballad that finds the saxman singing. Although Shepp's singing isn't in a class with his tenor playing, he still manages to get his points across on "Déjà-Vu" -- which is an ironic song title for an album that avoids being nostalgic. Shepp and Rudd keep things unpredictable on this inspired reunion. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 8, 2015 | Red House Records

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Jazz - Released June 24, 2008 | Sunnyside

Working with a vocalist is nothing new for veteran revered trombonist Roswell Rudd. If you recall the excellent 1973 album for the Arista/Freedom label Flexible Flyer, you recognize a revisit in the style of memorable tracks done at that time with the innovative singer Sheila Jordan. Rudd's idea on this CD is to mix up some old favorites, Gilbert & Sullivan-inspired stage-type songs, and his trademark modern jazz -- all as a vehicle for the introduction of the excellent songbird Sunny Kim. She is as impressive as any vocalist you might hear in contemporary music, as her bell-like vocal instrument, clean phrasing, and distinct, confident tone ring true from beginning to end. Kim is quite adept at scat, sings a good soulful or inward-looking lyric, and is one of the more pleasurable and accessible vocalists who is not afraid to take a risk or three. The CD opens with some advice or love songs: "Keep Your Heart Right" (recorded for the Flexible Flyer album but never released), originally written in tribute to a cattle stampede and summarily expressive with no holds barred by Kim; "Loved by Love," a low-key waltz with a hymnal feel; "I Look in the Mirror," a self-examination via pop-blues-swing; and "The Light Is with Me" (first appearing as sung by Jordan on the recording Broad Strokes), another ballad with a gospel sound. Things turn a bit kitschy and whimsical on "I'm Going Sane" (lyrics by Verna Gillis), a driving swinger that delightfully stalls into a molasses no-time bog, then escapes and speeds up. The fifth recorded version by Rudd of his slight reggae Afro-blues tune "Bamako" sports the first edition sung in English. Going back to the Flexible Flyer LP, Rudd and Kim sing the Native American chant dirge "Suh Blah Blah Buh Sibi," inspired by the cadence of windshield wiper blades when Rudd was a taxicab driver. This hypnotic piece is more reserved than that of the Jordan-Rudd combo, Kim gliding on her scat in an easy swing during her solo. The most dramatic cut is "You Blew It," a contemporary finger wag toward those who do not recycle and take global warming more seriously. Kim is on fire in her red-hot scat and swing dress, taking liberties, talking smack on the ecological mess-up, and shredding these lyrics. Pianist Lafayette Harris, especially on "Keep Your Heart Right" and "The Light Is with Me," shows his church music influence, while bassist Bradley Jones plays the yeoman's role, as does Rudd for the most part. The arco bass on "Whatever Turns You on Baby" and a lengthy solo during "All Nite Soul" are the high points for a woefully underappreciated Jones. A very strong disc co-produced by longtime friend Gillis (of the Live from Soundscape loft concert series), this is Roswell Rudd's best effort of the 2000s, and marks an auspicious coming out for the extremely talented and likable Sunny Kim. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released October 11, 2005 | Sunnyside

Wow! Simply put, this recording is almost indescribable. Master trombonist Roswell Rudd teams with a Mongolian ensemble that renamed itself for this outing, and over two recording sessions has come up with 13 completely unique and utterly original tunes that come from either traditional sources or were written by Rudd. The Mongolian Buryat Band is comprised of a throat singer, a vocalist, and four instrumentalists who play everything from horse-head basses and fiddles to lute, dulcimer, and limbe (a flute). Rudd plays his trombone as well as mellophone and even does some scat singing. The traditional songs, such as "Behind the Mountains" and "Bridle Ringing," are beautiful, full of rich tonal sonorities and gorgeous melodies. But the most astonishing elements are Rudd's own compositions for this group, perhaps the most moving of which is "Gathering Light," where his trombone is a background tonal drone and Badma Khanda sings wordlessly as the flute and the dulcimer float around her elegantly. When Rudd takes his solo, the blues come winding their way in courtesy of New Orleans. Another fine moment (of many here) is Oumou Sangare's ethereal "Djoloren." Khanda sings solo for nearly a minute and half before dropping out as the band begins to enter. First the bass and dulcimer slip in, then the fiddle winds in, then Rudd comes in, hovering about, playing a subtle and simple folk melody that is repetitive and hypnotic. Finally, Khanda returns to sing with the entire band, and the effect is breathtaking. "Four Mountains" begins as a duet between Battuvshin Baldantseren, who does throat singing, and Rudd, creating overtones of extremely high and low pitches -- the instruments, voice, and trombone share a low note called a "fundamental" bass note and have similar starting points on the bass scale. They then perform almost in counterpoint before the mellophone engages the trombone and the throat singing reenters to finish. Rudd improvises jazz before moving back to tonal exchanges, and it's sonically out of this world. There's even straight-up countrified blues on "Buryat Boogie," where fiddle, dulcimer, vocals (which display Rudd to be a fine blues and scat singer), and trombone dig deep into old-time American roots territory for a real cultural exchange. There isn't another recording like this on the planet; it's stunning. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 14, 2011 | Sunnyside

In his mid-seventies at the time of these recording sessions, trombonist Roswell Rudd takes the listener on a worldwide journey with his diverse musical interests. He explores a couple of widely known songs, though his bluesy take of "Feeling Good" is a funky affair showing off his chops with a mute and on open horn as organist Arne Wendt and pianist Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis lead the rhythm section behind him. His take of "Danny Boy" showcases Wu Tong on sheng (a bamboo predecessor to the harmonica), followed by the leader's sassy muted horn accompanied by bassist John Lindberg, with Tong achieving an organ-like sound as he rejoins them. Rudd also ventures to Latin America, interpreting the Cuban traditional piece "Dame la Mano" with guitarist/vocalist David Oquendo. Rudd even composed the Cajun-flavored "C'Etait dans la Nuit" to feature fiddler/vocalist Michael Doucet and Beausoleil, along with penning "BRO" to play with an impressive group of musicians from Bali playing exotic instruments. The Incredible Honk is one of the rare CDs that will broaden the listening experience of everyone. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Jazz - Released November 19, 2013 | Sunnyside

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Jazz - Released March 31, 1994 | 1201 MUSIC

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Jazz - Released September 6, 2011 | 1201 MUSIC

Solid quintet date w/ intense Dave Burrell on piano. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1967 | Verve Reissues

With the exception of a date for the European America label in 1965 in a quartet with altoist John Tchicai, this Impulse LP (not yet reissued on CD) was trombonist Roswell Rudd's recording debut as a leader. The music (two originals, Giuseppi Logan's "Satan's Dance" and Bill Harris' "Everywhere") rambles a lot (all the pieces clock in between 11:35-12:04), but has some moments of interest. Rudd plays reasonably well, as does altoist Robin Kenyetta, while the pianoless rhythm section has some interesting interplay by bassists Lewis Worrell and Charlie Haden, as well as drummer Beaver Harris. Giuseppi Logan, a rather limited free player, does what he can on flute and bass clarinet, mostly adding atmosphere and dissonance. An intriguing but far from essential date. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Country - Released January 29, 2013 | Soundscape

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Jazz - Released April 7, 2009 | Sunnyside

Roswell Rudd's idea of a trombone army is not as pronounced as one might think when initially looking at the credits. It's not an offshoot of Slide Hampton's World of Trombones, but elaborates on the concept somewhat. Certainly Rudd's veteran status allows him to invite players of different generations who admire him, as Deborah Weisz, Sam Burtis, Josh Roseman, Eddie Bert, Ray Anderson, Wycliffe Gordon, or Steve Swell all fit that bill. Rudd apportions different lineups to play music with far reaching implications, including that of ethnic and down home, creative improvised, European, and American jazz traditions. The music constantly evolves and shapes itself in chameleon proportions, ignoring nothing that Rudd has himself experienced in his lengthy and distinguished career as an original individualist. Five tracks feature the proper Trombone Tribe, with Weisz, Swell, Rudd, Bob Stewart on tuba, bassist Henry Grimes, and drummer Barry Altschul, a quite formidable ensemble. They include a tuneful and easy swinging tribute for the recently deceased British saxophonist "Elton Dean," the appropriately titled "No End" with the bass lead of Grimes firing up trombone solos with false starts and then steamrolling solos, the samba/Latinized, warm and soulful "To the Day" with bass filling the cracks of a New Orleans-cum-central African theme, the bluesy soul-jazz "Sand in My Slide Shuffle," and the conversational, Dxieland inspired, bawdy, free, low-down, and cleverly titled "Slide & the Family Bone." Two other cuts feature Rudd and the other five trombonists, a brass phalanx of epic proportions. They do the frantic, herky-jerky, Kurt Weill circus inspired "Astroslyde" paralleling bass note informed East European bands, while "Hulla Gulla" is a blues up and down motif derived from a bottom end vamp. Trumpeter Steven Bernstein and Sexmob goof up à la Thelonious Monk in New Orleans during "Twelve Bars," the famous Herbie Nichols march tune laced with the alto sax of Briggan Krauss, while Bonerama get their kicks on the funky strut "Bone Again," with Matt Perrine's sousaphone doing the dirty deed. The final five-piece suite and the introductory fanfare has Rudd working with Gangbe, the world music brass group from Benin, in short, thematic bursts based in joyous shouts, the religious Doxology precept, dance to spiritual music, tuba with vocal chanting, and a modal improvisation, again via Monk. They playing from top to bottom is fantastic, diversity the watchword as you would expect, and the cohesion of all the groups quite enjoyable from track to track, and never boring. It's a genuine triumph for Roswell Rudd in the golden years of a very successful occupancy in modern music, and comes highly recommended. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 26, 2007 | Sunnyside

This spirited program, recorded over a four-year period, teams trombonist Roswell Rudd with the fluent cuatro player Yomo Toro (the cuatro is a four-string guitar) and a variety of musicians equally skilled at Afro-Cuban, modern mainstream and South American-flavored jazz, not to mention tangos. Rudd is the wild card, adding wit, flexible jazz phrasing and his musical personality to a diverse set of music. The rhythm sections (which on four songs include percussionist-drummer Bobby Sanabria) are full of power and effortless polyrhythms, there are occasional vocals, and the personnel and instrumentation change from cut to cut, holding one's interest throughout. Rudd's charming "Tango for Chris" is a high point. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2004 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Trombonist Roswell Rudd made his debut as leader with this eponymous 1965 date recorded in the Netherlands for the European-based America label. Fans of Rudd will immediately recognize his peculiar slide-heavy and note-bending style. While the album is primarily a free jazz effort, tracks such as "Old Stuff" and "Respects" do belie a quasi-boppish influence not dissimilar to the work of avant-garde icon saxophonist Ornette Coleman. Rudd is joined here by alto saxophonist John Tchicai, bassist Finn Von Eyben, and drummer Louis Moholo. © Matt Collar /TiVo