Rent Romus’ Life’s Blood Ensemble – “Rogue Star” (Edgetone Records, 2018)

“Rogue Star” was released this year by “Edgetone Records”. Album was recorded by Rent Romus (alto saxophone, flute), Joshua Marshall (tenor saxophone), Heikki “Mike” Koskinen (e-trumpet, tenor recorder), Mark Clifford (vibraphone), Safa Shokrai (double bass), Max Judelson (double bass) and Timothy Orr (drums). The music of this ensemble is based on experimental and avant-garde jazz, also has a strong influence of progressive, modern and contemporary jazz. The musicians are dedicated to find new and interesting ways of playing and create fresh, evocative and innovative sound. Each of them is improvising differently from the others – music always is filled with spontaneous musical decisions, has bright and innovative musical language, is full of inventive and provocative instrumentatio decisions, sudden stylistic turns, unpredictable stylistic waves and colorful surprises. Musicians are improvising together and create interesting, original and unique sound.

“Rogue Star” has remarkable sound, interesting structure and is based on avant-garde and experimental jazz elements. The elements of progressive jazz, bebop, post bop, hard bop and nther modern jazz styles also are heard here. Musicians are mixing up together many different music styles – extraordinary and eclectic combinations bring more life and energy to the compositions. All compositions are based on free improvisations – musicians are improvising together and making strange, interesting and evocative musical decisions. Sudden changes of moods, styles, characters, rhythms or other elements of musical language are very frequently used here. The music is based on bright and rich musical language, which has difficult structure, polyphonic melodic pattern, free form and dynamic rhythmic. The rhythms of various jazz styles are fused together – here is possible to here static and calm traditional jazz rhtyhms, meditative and relaxing cool intonations or dynamic, expressive and vivid free improvisations. The harmony is colorful and variable – it has huge palette of colors and sounds, which are produced by grouping together interesting combinations of chords and scales. Soft and warm consonances are mixed together with sharp, aggressive, dramatic and expressive dissonances and various types of unusual chords. Alto saxophone and flute melodies gently fit together and colorfully illustrate whole musical pattern. Long, marvelous and vibrant saxophone solos, bright and expressive melodies, charming and extremely rapid passages, relaxing and peaceful excerpts and energetic blow outs – all these elements are just a little part of whole musical pattern. Rent Romus is the master of combining together different music styles, expressions and instruments – his expressive and turbulent saxophone organically fits together with calm, soft, gentle and playful flute melodies. Joshua Marshall tenor saxophone is as much expressive, turbulent and rapid as alto saxophone. Marvelous and remarkable duos and “conversations” of tenor and alto saxophones are the most effective and interesting episodes of the album. Musician travels through different zones of styles, characters, mixing and blending together free improvisation, modern and experimental jazz elements, special effects, bright blow outs and other musical language elements. His improvising is very dynamic and expressive, has rich variety of unusual timbres and sounds. Heikki “Mike” Koskinen e-trumpet and tenor recorder improvisations are filled with passion and expression. Improviser improvises rapidly, dynamically and expressively. His improvisations have bright, evocative and fresh sound, where extended playing techniques and wide range of expressions are fused together with special effects, effective and marvelous blow outs, turbulent and astonishing musical experiments and wide variety of unusual timbres. Double basses improvisations by Safa Shokrai and Max Judelson form solid and independent bass line and keep strong harmonic pattern of the compositions. Various tunes are repeated and changed silmunateously – that makes colorful, bright and solid sound. Monotonic rhythmic and melodic elements make a huge contrast with absolutely different side of the album. Harsh, repetitive, solid and deep bass lines grow to dramatic and interesting culminations, which are filled with vivacious solos, passionate melodies, expressive and rapid passages and sound experiments. Drums section by Timothy Orr is rich and bright. It’s gently fits together with Mark Clifford vibraphones. Loud, harsh and evocative drum rolls, turbulent and free solos, bright and expressive improvisations, aggressive and rapid tremolos and many different drums sounds and rhythms are fused together with soft, colorful and warm sound of vibraphones. Its melodies make the sound warmer, more gentle and colorful. The music of this album has marvelous and remarkable sound, which was created by talented and inventive jazz masters.

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