Renee Rosnes: Black Holes
Renee Rosnes (piano)
As We Are Now (Blue Note 56810-2)
Composed by Renee Rosnes.
Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, March 12-13, 1997
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
In 1997, two months after participating in this session, Chris Potter recorded his breakthrough CD Unspoken. Christian McBride was perhaps the most in-demand young bassist of the '90's. And Jack DeJohnette was – well, simply the one-of-a-kind Jack DeJohnette. So Renee Rosnes had quite a quartet at her beck and call for what was to be the fifth of her nine Blue Note releases over a reputation-establishing 13 years. A gifted composer and riveting pianist, and a current (and founding) member of the much- praised S.F. Jazz Collective, Rosnes gives us in "Black Holes" a shining example of her talents.
The track opens with an uneasy ostinato by Rosnes that establishes a tension that Potter extends through his reading of the swirling, fanfare-like theme. Rosnes's driven solo is impelled by the relentless support of McBride and DeJohnette. The pianist's captivating modal excursion maintains a persistent rhythmic flow as she executes spiraling, complex phrases and runs. The ostinato's return bridges Potter's subsequent statement. His brusque tone suits his dense note clusters and wailing, sometimes dissonance-inflected exclamations. Rosnes, McBride and DeJohnette inspire him with the headlong insistence of their locked-in, swelling groove. A more relaxed variation of the previous ostinato is utilized for the closing interlude, over which DeJohnette responds with some light-touched, adroit stick work.
Reviewer: Scott Albin