American soprano sax ax player-composer Joe Rosenberg, who splits his time between Paris, France, and Bali, Indonesia, likes to frame his albums with cultural references and on Marshland he chose the words of American comedian-musician Reggie Watts on space in music: «It’s more important to realize the negative space, as music is only the division of space; and is the space we are listening to divided as such, which gives us the information in comparison to something other, that gives us the idea of what the idea that wants to be transmitted, wants to be».
«Marshland» was recorded in Paris in December 2018 and features an all-European quintet – the front line of Rosenberg, Belgian trumpeter Bart Maris and German Daniel Erdmann plus the attentive rhythm section of French double bass player Arnault Cuisinier and drummer Edward Perraud, that accompanied Rosenberg in his latest releases. This quintet charges its post-bebop aesthetics with collective improvisations that highlight melody and a positive sense of space and personal freedom.
The title-piece that is offered in three versions. The first one cements the balanced, leisured and full of ethereal space, emotional interplay of the Rosenberg, Maris and Erdmann, almost as a contemporary chamber unit. The second one highlights the imaginative and subtle work of the rhythm section of Cuisinier and Perraud, and the third, last piece of the album refers to the bebop legacy but with total freedom. «La Danse». That repeats in two versions, intensifies the loose, chamber spirit of this album. Other pieces like «Funazushi», after the Japanese traditional sardine sushi, emphasizes the playful, nuanced storytelling qualities of Rosenberg and his ensemble, until you really crave unconditionally for this exotic delicacy. The song-like «Amelia» sounds as a melancholic and disillusioned comment on Joni Mitchell’s song by the same name, checking upon the song protagonist about forty years later.
Joe Rosenberg (ss), Bart Maris (tp, flh), Daniel Erdmann (ts, ss), Arnault Cuisinier (b), Edward Perraud (dr)