Scott Rosenberg: IE
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, reedist Scott Rosenberg relocated to Chicago a couple of years ago, and has been very active in promoting his music since. "IE" is an ambitious project for a 27-piece orchestra which focuses on Scott Rosenberg as a composer (as an instrumentalist, he is only featured on contrabass clarinet on the opening track).
One of the main strengths of Scott Rosenberg's music is its sheer power of evocation. Each time I listen to this music, different images come to my mind. "Hums", for instance, creates a hazy atmosphere with floating sheets of sound, and the woodwinds and strings are beautifully married.
On "Requiesence" (requiem and quiescence), a dark and meditative piece, Scott Rosenberg organizes the music around the use of silence. The only turbulent piece of this opus, which does not have a title, makes use of the "conduction" concept: musicians improvise in response to the conductor's instructions. This idea was made famous but Lawrence "Butch" Morris, but the amount of energy the piece generates suggests that Scott Rosenberg's technique is different.
To sum up, "IE" demonstrates beautifully that the borderline between composition and improvisation can be quite blurry.—Alain Drouot
Available at www.barelyauditable.com.