My rabbi, Steven Bernstein (Sex Mob, MTO, Berkeley High, Earthwise Productions 10th anniversary show), gave “Plastic Alto” six minutes and 37 seconds by cell to help me and my readers get ready for the Josh Roseman show, which is coming to Stanford Lively Arts as a sextet on Saturday, November 12.
Josh, who also in recent years helped out at the Stanford Jazz Workshop and sometimes frequented Printers Cafe in Palo Alto will be playing Jamaican-tinged jazz as found on his recent Accurate Records release:
I wrote about Josh’s upcoming visit previously, and had the briefest conversation with him, but was somehow moved to get the skinny on him from another renowned bandleader, Bernstein. I call Bernstein now and again for ideas or advice and interviewed him a few years back live for KZSU (as I did for three other of Roseman’s colleagues Peter Apfelbaum, Charlie Hunter and Don Byron).
As part of our banter, Steven Bernstein agreed that people might have at times confused Josh Roseman with Josh Redman, “especially when they were both young and coming up”. First I joshed Steven so to speak to pretend slightly stoopidly that somebody might confuse Steven’s instrument, a slide trumpet, with Josh’s axe, a trombone.
Steven Bernstein and Josh Roseman have each played with Charlie Hunter, but it was Curtis Fowlkes who played trombone recently in Charlie’s section with SB, not Josh, and on Steven’s recent cd. Allmusic dot com would have cleared up all this in a more forthright manner, but it is fun to marvel in the interconnectedness of today’s generation of jazz gods with a little faux naive teasing and questioning. Josh has a long list of sideman credits and notably was a member of the first SFJAZZ collective. He also teaches at the New School and a couple other places plus runs a venue in Brooklyn.
The fact is that Steven Bernstein said he has known Josh Roseman for more than 25 years and remembers the first time they met when they were both in a section in the Big Apple, when Josh must have still been in high school (before he went to New England Conservatory, but well after Bernstein had left Berkeley High, where he has gigged copiously with his classmates Apfelbaum and another great trombonist Jeff Cressman).
Somewhere therein with Bernstein a propos of Roseman I mentioned that I had verbally committed to Rush Gershon of Either Orchestra and Accurate Records that I would raise some money and fly his group out here next year to do their Ethiopian bit. Russ is another Josh Roseman colleague, having hired him for his band back numerous times back in the day and having put out the most recent sessions on his label (following Josh’s work on Enja and Knitting Factory). Steven had said that his most recent and perhaps mos def MTO (orchestra) project was indeed a Sly Stone tribute but had not been out to San Francisco Bay Area yet. “It takes real money. It has 12 players.”
I also asked Steven Bernstein, in code, in yiddish, like in the prologue for “A Serious Man” whether Josh Roseman, despite recording a Jazz Ska attack thing also came by honestly his stint with Don Byron’s Mickey Katz thing, and we agreed that although Steven and Josh have not yet recorded together their ancestors and mine, and Charlie’s, and Russ’s were all in a section together, back in the day, shlepping stones to the top of the pyramid of Giza, but not on the sly or as a family outing, as in when Israel was in Egypt’s land, let my people go. Paul Robeson you know. O Brother where art thou and all that. Sullivan’s travels. If you feel me. What is the frequency, Faulkner? Oley, Grandfather. Oy. Oy. Mine aching back.
Finally getting to my one question (as opposed to the four questions, if you permit me further exodus in a subtle Pesach subtext):
What should the listeners shed with to prep for Josh Roseman at Stanford, coming up next week, his Jamaican thing?
1) He didn’t say this — too modest — but I will:
2) He actually said this.
Or he said “Breaking Bread”. It is true that the cell cut in and out a few times — nature of the beast — six six six and all that — sometimes eleven seven – but never four four four — that would be Bernie Worrell, no misrespect mind you — but I’m still a greenhorn or a tenderfoot and am not actually on the bus or on the horse thank you Jesus and was afeared to ask the rabbi to clarify, like soup. When John Ellis opened for Bernie Worrell at B.B.King’s in New York he pointed out that it wasn’t really jazz in that all the songs were 4/4 timing. Actually, Worrell adds a lot of spice to Bernstein’s cd so I should bite my tongue).
He said “Roswell Rudd” and I have taken poetic, self-serving and plastic alto license here to be more pacific about which cd. I like this one because tru-dat Roswell and Steve Lacy (and JJ Avenel and the other JB John Betsch, as distinct from JB Jenny Bilfield the producer of Josh’s show — had to get that mention in here somewhere) rehearsed together for the first time in years in Andy Heller’s San Carlos studio the night before the first show of a tour that finished probably at Iridium in 1999 in NYC before going into the studio to make this cd. Get it? I mean “Get it!”
See the link to Josh’s cd see above.
I mentioned that the night after Josh Roseman at Stanford there will be light in the form of Abraham Inc at CalPerformances the next day. And Beth Custer on clarinet has a big show in the City on Thursday.
Abraham Inc features David Krakauer on clarinet and Fred Wesley on trombone, and yet another Josh, Socalled, Dolgin on keys and beats. I went by Jack’s I mean Boom Boom Room in SF — it’s on Fillmore near the Mildred Howard public art piece Blue — and spoke to the owner Alex Andreas about how we should on the down low bring a bone summit with Josh and Fred. If it happens it will be like 2 a.m. and no publicity — but either or and if, you heard it here first.
edit to add: I just noticed that on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at noon at Cantor Museum Loren Schoenberg of the Harlem Jazz Museum will lecture on the relationship between Latin or Caribbean culture and Jazz. I met Loren earlier this year when he came out to lecture at Stanford on Mingus. I also noticed — although this is more about Steven Bernstein than Josh Roseman — that someone has posted online a recording of the show Bernstein did for Earthwise, The Diaspora Suite.
I still don’t get it why sometime the links to the online store come out with the album artwork and sometimes just the address but since this link worked in the previous post I will add it here to lively up:
edit to add, November 9, 2011: Checked in with Josh Roseman’s studio assistant, the Fugazi-loving Sam Lawrence (?), who got JR to send me this update:
i understand you called the studio looking for the lineup for Saturday-
here’s a mini blurb from the (social media page) event I put up, see below…
holler if I can be of further asssistance, OK
Josh Roseman solar flare double trio in performance at Stanford Lively Arts
Saturday, November 12 · 8:00pm – 10:00pm
kind of dubby ridiculousness- fresh from underneath a planet, we bring a sigil of blasts, sparkles and righteous group mutterings to Stanford’s Campbell Recital hall.
And check the band out:
Joshua- trombone and digital appliances
Myron Walden- alto saxophone
Peter Apfelbaum- organ
Barney McAll- sound design, tuning and sprinkles
Mark Guiliana- drums
Curtis Hasselbring- trombone and guitar
please to be come and check it
will do, josh.