Bassjazz Edition: Stephan Crump’s Rosetta Trio, Exoterm, Reid Anderson, Dave King & Craig Taborn And dustlights

By Aaron Stein Oct 2, 2019 9:27 am PDT

Stephan Crump’s Rosetta Trio: Outliers

Try to get a little bit of everything in here at the old RecommNeds, so it’s time for some great jazz releases that have been bopping around my listening queue in 2019. For this set, I’m going to focus on bands led, more or less, by the bassists. I always find those to be the most interesting, personally. The first rec is from Stephan Crump’s Rosetta Trio an interesting combo with Crump’s bass backing two guitars, Liberty Ellman on acoustic and Jamie Fox on electric. Outliers came out in the winter and between the instrumentation and compositions, it’s a delight of quiet exploration and melodic meditation. Enjoy!

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Exoterm: Exits Into A Corridor

The compositions on Exits Into A Corridor by Exoterm, are all written by Norwegian bassist Rune Nergaard whose voice dictates the musical flow, but the thrill of this must-hear is the combination of talents in this Norway-meets-Brooklyn band. The quartet is rounded out with fellow Norwegian Kristoffer Berre Alberts on saxophones and the American musicians Jim Black and Nels Cline on guitar. That’s a heckuva band and they really dig into this one, blurring the lines between rock and jazz, quiet and loud (and louder!), composed sections and improvisation. This is the good stuff, get into it.

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Reid Anderson, Dave King, Craig Taborn: Golden Valley Is Now

The next album almost slipped past my radar somehow, even though it features some of my absolute favorite musicians: bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King from the Bad Plus and piano/keyboard master Craig Taborn. The album they just put out is Golden Valley Is Now and I really want to make sure it doesn’t slip past your radar, because it’s superb. Featuring compositions largely from Anderson’s insightful mind, with some by King as well, the album is what I refer to as the Electric Bad Plus (or, maybe better, The Good Plus). It sounds a bit like old Benevento/Russo Duo music, for a better JamBase-ready point of reference: glorious, groovy, ecstatic, genre-defying instrumental music. You’ve got to check this one out, I think you’ll dig.

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dustlights: Dreams Outside

While I’m here, I think there’s room for one more … this last one is not a bass-led group, in fact its strength is clearly in the trio’s democratic improvisational skills. But I’ve featured a bunch of established musicians this week and this space is usually for true new discoveries and that makes Dreams Outside from sax-bass-drums trio dustlights this week’s get-these-guys-on-your-radar pick. The new EP is five tracks at the forefront of the genre — minimalist, psychedelic, ambient and probing. If the tracks feel like they’re the improvised conversations of three musicians extremely comfortable playing with each other, it’s because that’s what they are. Good shit.

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