Recommended: Jeremy Rose – “Within & Without”


Guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel has a pretty distinctive sound.  The voice of his guitar commands the spotlight.  So it’s interesting to hear him lay back and be a bit of a wallflower on the new album from saxophonist Jeremy Rose.  Of further interest is that Rose has a nice laid-back approach himself, so not only do you get a nifty set of subtle interactions between the guitarist and saxophonist, but it allows the other members of the quintet to rise to the surface, and none of them have to be pushy to get in a solo or even just a voice on equal standing to the group leaders when the ensemble stands as one.

Rose switches over to bass clarinet from time to time, and the contemplative tone this generates is more than a little enchanting.  Also, Rose develops a pretty amicable voice on alto sax, so the balance through contrast is a textural element that serves the album well in many ways.  But all the same, tracks like “Night Wanderer” and “Strange Doors“ make a strong case for pestering Rose back into the studio with only his bass clarinet for a recording and see what shakes out.

Within & Without is a set of modern tunes, where the impulse to swing need not be present to instill a motion of bopping along.  But there’s a nice helping of blues throughout, and even with all their modernity, the quintet keeps to a relatively straight and narrow path.  If a listener sticks to recorded output, hearing Rosenwinkel in a straight-ahead environment can be something a novel experience, and it’s refreshing to hear his particular form of lyricism expressed simply and plainly, and watch it resonate like crazy.  It should also not go without mention that Rose isn’t exactly a standard-bearer of a classic jazz sound himself- case in point: his other new album, this one with his ensemble The Vampires, which features a collaboration with guitarist Lionel Loueke.

Overall, this album is delightfully relaxed, almost luxuriant in its state of ease.  It’s not sleepy music; It makes an impact.  In its own particular way, the recording offers up its share of fireworks, but it’s all light and no bang, like watching their reflection from a distance, captured in a lake’s softly rippling tides.

Your album personnel:  Jeremy Rose (alto sax, bass clarinet), Kurt Rosenwinkel (guitar), Jackson Harrison (piano), Andreas Lang (double bass) and Tobias Backhaus (drums).

Released on Earshift Music.

Listen to more of the album on the artist’s Bandcamp page.

Music from Sydney, Australia.

Available at:  Bandcamp