Kelly Rossum

As distinctive for his Mohawk coif as for his intelligent, endlessly eclectic, thoroughly modern jazz, trumpeter Kelly Rossum is seemingly everywhere on the local jazz scene, playing with numerous ensembles in addition to heading up the jazz program at MacPhail Center. This weekend at the AQ, he'll celebrate the release of his new CD, Family (612 Sides), which features key contributions from pianist Bryan Nichols and a pair of Bateses, bassist Chris and drummer J.T. The presence of Miles Davis hovers throughout, in Rossum's tone and temperament, but only in measured bits that conspire with other shards—free jazz, bop, blues, swing, classical—to create Rossum's signature restless sound. His title track, initially reflective, gets bluesier measure by measure just as Nichols's wistful piano grows edgier. Another Rossum original, "Mr. Blueberry," is jaunty and almost cartoonish with playful mute work and funky rhythms, while a cover of genuinely whimsical fare (Willy Wonka's "Pure Imagination") flirts with dissonance. "Somebody Come Out and Play" from Sesame Street, on the other hand, swings with elegance and sophistication. As usual, Rossum and his band continually prod and stretch and tinker with expectations, coming up with stuff that's resolutely fresh and original.
Fridays, Saturdays, 9 p.m. Starts: Sept. 26. Continues through Sept. 27, 2008

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