"Great writing and ensemble playing. Deep thoughtful solos."
– Jack DeJohnette
"De Rosa is quite a revelation. Best known as a sideman...he is a virtuoso bassist with a technique recalling that of Jaco Pastorius or Scott LaFaro from the past and maybe Drew Gress from the present. As a composer, he is equally formidable.... But however involved the arrangements become, everything is completely accessible and this is an exceptional album. As for the musicians, Mark Shim...is one of the most original of all the current tenor stylists. His...solos come in short, sharp bursts and always leave one wanting more. Vijay Iyer, heard here on Rhodes more often than usual, is now unquestionably the ground breaking pianist in jazz, really gets into De Rosa's conception, adding his own idiosyncratic interpretations and also inspires all the solo sections. As for Justin Brown, his playing...will certainly give exposure to his outstanding talent. All in all, a super strongly individual stylists playing deep, dark, muscular music with a remarkably wide appeal."
released January 25, 2011
Proficient, creative, a first-call, in-demand bassist, Carlo De Rosa has earned a reputation of very high standards. As a composer and band-leader of the quartet Cross-Fade, he also has very high standards, but outside of New York City clubs, this work has not been widely recognized. Brain Dance is set to remedy that situation!
Cross-Fade is a band of top-drawer musicians. In addition to Carlo's work on bass, the band features the constantly inventive saxophone work of Mark Shim, who released three albums on Blue Note and who plays here with an amazing fire and fervor, playing fast and intricate melodic lines as if cutting butter. Drummer Justin Brown is the youngest member of the group and the least known at this time, but his playing here is agile, assured and quite mind-boggling. Pianist Vijay Iyer should need no introduction; he is the rising young piano star of jazz today. Iyer was named the 2010 Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association and he is up for a Grammy in February for 'best instrumental jazz album'.
These are obviously all great players, but great players deserve great material and one of the notable things about Brain Dance is the writing. The compositions give the players malleable material with which to work with; there's plenty of thematic material, but also plenty of room for them to add their individuality. The end result is greater than even the sum of their musical talents and the compositions. The music constantly moves between the modern, avant-garde and electric jazz worlds, never standing still, but taking the most interesting and attractive elements of these worlds and combining them into a new whole. For the listener who appreciates modern, cutting-edge jazz as well as cutting-edge jazz/rock, this album will be a hugely enjoyable musical revelation!