Josh Roseman Unit | Cherry

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by Josh Roseman Unit

A collection of steamy night time jazz songs gone haywire, soaked in gasoline, and lit on fire, causing all kinds of madness. Like a bad acid trip turned into a daydream, somehow they manage to intoxicate you.
Genre: Jazz: Acid Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Don't Be Cruel
2:33 album only
2. If I Fell
5:09 album only
3. Kashmir
6:09 album only
4. In the Land of Make Believe
5:19 album only
5. Daddy's Gonna Tell You No Lie
3:05 album only
6. Extra Virgin
6:42 album only
7. Just to Keep You Satisfied
4:29 album only
8. Love in Outer Space
4:55 album only
9. Trousertrout
6:37 album only
10. Frank Mills Jr.
5:25 album only
11. Smells Like Teen Spirit
5:08 album only
12. Daddy Redux
1:01 album only


Album Notes
To the Late great Lester Bowie - Fast last

CHERRY was a total party, an epic studio encounter.
The recording features John Medeski's keyboards, Dave Fiuczynski and Ben Monder on guitar, Bob Stewart covering the low end, Joey Baron on drums, Dave Jensen and Jay Rodrigues from the Groove Collective.

Sad to report, this was also one of the last sessions Lester Bowie ever made.

Lester was a great person, a true innovator and he had the sweetest trumpet sound, as we all know.

He schooled a lot of us in his freaky, understated way, both through his musical legacy and also through the trailblazing way he and his colleagues went about pursuing their life in art.

Those cats really did it up- they turned it out everywhere they went, from St. louis to Chicago to NY to Paris to Nigeria and beyond.

My life was enriched immeasurably from having had the experience of playing with him and being around him.
CHERRY is dedicated to his memory.

CHERRY is inspired also by the music, drive and spirit of SUN RA.
Describing Sun Ra's philosophy would take more space than we can take up here And he was expert at articulating his mission on his own- this page has a great interview, for example.
an excerpt:

RF: Does it please you to be playing as part of SUNY at Stony Brook's Black History Month Celebration?

"SR: I'm playing dark history. It's beyond black. I'm dealing with the dark things of the cosmos. The dark things are the unknown things. I'm dealing with the dark spirit of all nations, the part of them they know nothing about. What I'm dealing with is so vast and great that it can't be called the truth. It's above the truth. I'm dealing with the potential of people. I'm dealing with what they should be and what I see in them that isn't there but should be there. I see people as they really are from a pure point of view. And seeing that I can't shut my eyes to it. Now, this sickness and this death and all these things that happen here on earth are not necessary. It's totally out of harmony, coordination precision and discipline. People are not made to die and to go through this It's such a tragedy that man endures in killing his brother and his own kind, putting him in jail and insane asylums, letting him lay out in the street. It's reached the stage where slot of people who never thought of it before are beginning to feel they could leave this planet and go to another planet I've been talking about that all along, you see. I've been talking about pioneering outer space, things like that. I'm talking about what I choose to call an omniverse. It's so bit it's endless and it's got all kinds of worlds out there, all kinds of mysteries. This little planet is like a grain of sand in the omniverse. And I'm telling people they can be part of and in a sense, are citizens of the omniverse, That's true."

Sun Ra was a proven visionary and futurist
He was genius like how Monk or Fellini were genius- he built a artistic cathedral on a tightrope line between ridicule and revelation.
He was very funny. made beautiful covers of Disney tunes, totally deadpan in mylar headress.
Sun Ra was concerned with compassion on a grand, cosmic level.
He challenged himself to sort the logistics out in real time.
He was an uncompromising, prolific, evolutionary and objective musical organizer.
Sun Ra passed in 1993, hard to get over that one. Over ten years now. woy

We play one of his anthems on this recording, and also an obscure single he wrote called "Daddy Gonna Tell You No Lie"
- that's a 45 he cut during his little-known doo-wop phase in the 50's.
The original recording is highly recommended; you can find it on the 3-cd set "The Singles"

It featured a drummer who got an unprecedented bipolar bounce at the drumkit
groove felt like two dudes in a pony suit on shore leave.
Which two dudes, I'm not sure- maybe Joe Pesci and Rerun.
Anyhow - the only way to approximate this subversive pocket was to use vibe specialists of the first order.
Joey listened to the original about a dozen times. Bob Stewart was burbling underneath like a king bullfrog in June, and Medeski glowed like a televangelist in sequins.
I plungered some pre-adolescent era plunger trombone as shameless as I could get it without dropping the instrument entirely
And the cats were able to dial this subversive pocket in on the first take.
It is on tape now, I am glad people can hear it cause it still makes my nose runny.


Noisy jazz brought up on rock 'n' roll, the Josh Roseman Unit's Cherry is a collection of steamy night time jazz songs gone haywire, soaked in gasoline, and lit on fire, causing all kinds of madness. Like a bad acid trip turned into a daydream, somehow they manage to intoxicate you, whether it is the vivid music or the fumes that get you high is not known, but what is known is that this is one bad ass record....

TOP 10 CD'S 2001

Thank god for the Jazz heretics. When self- appointed keepers of the faith lose their sense of humour, forget how to dance and wear stylistic blinders, the music's in trouble. Thankfully, there's a crew of young cats and old codgers who know how to laugh and shake a tailfeather, who don't give a damn where thier inspiration comes from. that's all good, but there's another thing critical to this open-minded, freewheeling mix: you gotta play your ass off. One intriguing talent among this new breed of hard-swinging, wide smiling Jazzbos is T-bonemeister Josh Roseman. A co-conspirator with Groove Collective, Don Byron, Me'shell Ndegeocello and Dave Douglas, Roseman craks open moders-era pop nuggets from the likes of Led Zep, Nirvana, the Beatles and Marvin gaye, throws in a little sun Ra, and adds smirky- titled originals like "Trousertrout" and "Extra Virgin" on its debut CD, CHERRY. Expect chops a-plenty to bloom into comely chaos, wacky brass sliding in groovalicious hilarity and dancers busting a collective gut at the temple of rhythm.

"Roseman's twisted squawking on this Benny Goodman meets Blade Runner project obscures all marching band references.....Thirteen eccentric players clash beautifully on one blindingly day-glow rant after another"
-DAVID McELFRESH, WIRED magazine, August 2001

Jazz album of the year. Who cares if it's only January? This is it, right here. But that's not really fair, because this album was recorded in 1998... So it's really the jazz album of the last three years. It's that good.
.... Roseman can play that thang, switching from Skatalite-skank ("Daddy Gonna Tell You No Lie") to avant-garde big band ("Land of Make Believe") in a heartbeat. He plays dirty, and he often neglects to empty that spitvalve on purpose, so don't go thinking that this is a sweet-sounding record. It's not. It's just great....
Roseman's out there, and you shouldn't listen to this if you have preconceived notions of anything. But if you have an open mind and/or an open heart, dive right in to this mess and see if it doesn't make you happy in all its rock and roll and jazz and soul glory.

"One of the most unique jazz albums of the new decade. ...Cherry is a bold effort by a bold musician with a fine sense of humor. Though for some the effect may be puzzling, the skill needed to make such a collection of music fit with any coherence is admirable. It will be interesting to see what Josh Roseman comes up with next; that is, if this music thing is challenging enough to keep his attention"

In the spirit of Sun Ra and Lester Bowie, some of whose final notes played are captured here, trombonist Josh Roseman leads his ensemble of the downtownís finest, including guitarist David Fiuczynski, tubaist Bob Stewart, bassist Scott Colley, drummer Joey Baron and the ubiquitous John Medeski on keyboards through dizzyingly witty and disarming versions of pop hits by Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Burt Bacharach, Marvin Gaye and Nirvana, put through the avant-garde blender, shaken and stirred into utterly accessible yet always surprising post-modern jazz-party music. So far, this is the best jazz album and the best rock album of 2002. Both.

"On the edge CD of the week"
"...The late Lester Bowie claimed that "jazz is neither specific repertoire, nor academic exercise, but a way of life," and proved it by making full-blooded jazz arrangements of songs by pop composers such as Marilyn Manson and Andrew Lloyd Webber. The spirit of the great man (Bowie, that is) hangs over this impressive and surprisingly commercial-sounding debut by American trombonist Josh Roseman. He was a member of Bowie's Brass Fantasy, and has also paid his dues in bands with Don Byron and David Murray and on great records such as Medeski Martin & Wood's It's a Jungle in Here. Cherry's line-up includes keyboard player John Medeski, tuba player Bob Stewart, bassist Scott Colley and Bowie himself on trumpet.Roseman continues the Brass Fantasy approach with six pop songs, including Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit and Marvin Gaye's Just To Keep You Satisfied and throws in Sun Ra's Daddy Gonna Tell You No Lie (in a ramshackle ska style) and Love in Outer Space for good measure. His own compositions are creative and melodic, making good use of the great players at his disposal. Drummer Joey Baron has a great time with Roseman's Trousertrout, which is performed with a circus-like bravura that recalls Ra's band without sounding like nostalgia.Yet some of the most imaginative writing and interpretation is on the cover versions: a bebop tour de force interrupting the deliberately weedy introduction to the Beatles' If I Fell; the heavy-metal tuba bass on Teen Spirit; the riotous groove of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir and the chatshow Dixieland for Leiber and Stoller's Don't Be Cruel. A "smooth" version of Bacharach and David's Land of Make Believe is soured nicely by Dave Fiuczynski's "stunt guitar": they'd have made an ideal house band for the Larry Sanders Show. Despite all the influences, Roseman's odyssey through his favourite songs is entirely personal and full of an infectious lust for brass, life and music. "

"Of course you can philosophize about the Fall of Man and its actuality as Greg Tate does in his liner notes to Josh Roseman's debut album "Cherry (ENJA). You can also shy away from the selection of titles which Roseman puts through the jazz grinder with his big band unit. Neither the Beatlesnor Kurt Cobain, Burt Bacharach or Led Zeppelin belong to the jazz canon. Is Roseman's treatment of these pop hits jazz or brass fantasy or already real pop or whatever you may call it - this is for you to worry about.Or, you can just go on a cruise into the land where mouthpieces sound pretty and weird, brash and full of humour. And then you will discover that Roseman's trombone sounds the prettiest - full and warm, just snuggle up to it. With empathy he explores the depths of the music, confronts pop with individualism and improv with the beauty of melody. There can't be a more intense way to honor his late teacher Lester Bowie - who plays one more time here - than the way Roseman does it. "
-STEFAN HENTZ, FINANCIAL TIMES (German Edition), January 5, 2001

"When did you last revel in the glory of a trombone-led jazz band that plays rock & roll? Here's one that'll bring a smile to your face. Josh Roseman has the quirky charisma necessary to turn the often sedate trombone into a leading instrument, and his band's first album showcases his skill and his rather bent sense of humor. Full of covers (and a few originals), Cherry is a cheery journey through funk, soul, jazz, and rock. The band's off-tempo take on Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" is worth a listen, as is their Morphine-like rendition of Nirvana's "Smell's Like Teen Spirit." But these tunes feel like tossed-off jokes meant to attract attention and they get tiresome quickly. The unit's version of Burt Bacharach's "Land of Make Believe," on the other hand, is poignant and sticky sweet in all the good ways. Roseman also throws in some Sun Ra, Marvin Gaye, the Beatles, and other tunes to cover all his influences. And while it's certainly fun to hear his vision of each of those, Roseman doesn't give himself enough credit for his own compositional skill. His three original works shine more than the covers. His slow, soulful melody on "Extra Virgin" is the most beautiful song on the album. In his own work, you hear elements of the artists he covers -- Sun Ra's experimentation, Bacharach's hooks, and Gaye's soul -- but in a unique way. He especially favors his Sun Ra side on the march-like "Trousertrout," which takes a couple of minutes to get to the hook, but it's fun when it arrives".
- MICHAEL MCGOWAN, All Music Guide

"It seems that the age of the trombone has indeed arrived. I thought the craze was only a New Orleans phenomenon with the advent of Bonerama and its cousin Mulebone, but as it turns out, New Yorkers want to get in on the action as well. As co-founder of the Brooklyn Funk Essentials and Groove Collective, trombonist Josh Roseman has been making waves in the slide horn community, but this intriguing debut takes the alternative trombone to new levels. Cherry defiantly mingles free and avant garde jazz sensibilities with rock swagger, and familiar pop melodies. Few artists would dare cover both Sun Ra and Burt Bacharach within the same album, and even fewer could pull the feat off smoothly. Twelve musicians join Roseman's Unit including the late trumpeter Lester Bowie, keyboardist John Medeski, drummer Joey Baron and guitarist John Fiuczynski. While the album is indeed scattered in its genre jumping, there is a consistent spirit of playfulness and raucous energy that pervades the outing. Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" is transformed into a bouncy ska number, while the sweet Lennon-McCartney ballad "If I Fell" becomes an odd-metered trippy jazz workout. Roseman brings a wonderfully raunchy edge to the Zeppelin epic "Kashmir" with squawking trombone and acidic guitar solos that whine and howl with unabashed glee. There are some fine originals included on Cherry, most notably the lyrical sway of "Extra Virgin", but it is the invigorating take on covers which supply the best moments. An especially ingenious choice is the adaptation of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" which finds Roseman's trombone eerily resembling the nonsensical mumbles and barks of Kurt Cobain. Cherry is a fresh, original and wholly enjoyable slice of avant garde that manages to be both complex and accessible at the same time."

(Knitting Factory/Velour)
Trombonist Josh Roseman has been a long-standing member of acid-jazz avatar Groove Collective, as well as a player in New York's infamously amorphous jazz envelope-pusher the M-Base Collective. Cherry is his first album under his own name. His Unit draws on the talents of fellow NYC musos like keyboardist John Medeski, drummer Joey Baron, percussionist E.J. Rodriguez, guitarists David Fiuczynski and Ben Monder and tubist Bob Stewart, and also features the late Lester Bowie on a handful of tracks. No jazz purist, Roseman is just as happy covering classic rock and pop as he is jazz, and his impish sense of humor prevents the onset of either eyebrow-arching condescension or doctor's office Muzak. To get an idea where Roseman and his buddies are coming from, check his versions of Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" (done as hyperactive ska), the Beatles' "If I Fell" (as jazzmatic car chase music), Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (as psychedelicized hip-hop) and two Sun Ra covers, in which he somehow turns Ra's notoriously eccentric melodies into lounge music. He also assays straightforward versions of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" (solid but this song has been done too many times lately) and Marvin Gaye's "Just to Keep You Satisfied" (nice and sensual). Roseman also contributes a smattering of originals, including the elephant march of "Trousertrout" and the sweet melodicism of "Frank Mills, Jr." Some of the arrangements verge on cheese, but overall Roseman's musicality and good nature keep him out of trouble. Fusion is rarely so much of a hoot.

If you ever wondered whether a musician could transform Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel," into a quasi, calypso-funk groove than stop right here. Well, notions such as these may seem fiendishly theoretical in scope, yet New York City-based trombonist, Josh Roseman's debut solo effort is full of dainty little surprises. Not only he does he pay a little homage to King Elvis, but also tackles Burt Bachrach, Led Zeppelin and the late alternative rock icon, Kurt Cobain among others. With support from a venerable crew of fellow modern jazz acolytes, Roseman and his willing accomplices, render a feisty big band arrangement of Lennon/McCartney's "If I Fell." Whereas, the ensemble fabricates Zeppelin's "Kashmir," into a huge wall of sound, featuring the leader's gritty horn work. By the way, this Zeppelin hard rock classic seems to be a favorite amid jazz and fusion artists, evidenced by "The Dregs," and more recently, on J.A.Granelli's EZ Pour Spout project. However, Roseman also shines as an astute and rather clever songsmith on such originals as the memorably tuneful "Extra Virgin."
The musicians' tongue-in-cheek rendition of Sun Ra's "Love In Outer Space," might kindle thoughts of a rowdy Italian wedding although guitarist, Ben Monder provides the jazz element via his fleet fingered single note runs. Guitar whiz, David Fiuczynski renders the loud, chunka-chunka chord progressions during the "Nirvana" hit, Smells Like Teen Spirit." Furthermore, Roseman dedicates this production to both Sun Ra and the recently departed trumpeter, Lester Bowie - who performed on three of these works.
Roseman's wondrous and cleverly articulated brainchild is chock full of robust soloing and cagey arrangements. Besides all of his ingenuity and wit - Roseman has resourcefully touched upon the periphery of the road less traveled, due to his sophisticated approach to the material. Cheerfully recommended!

"While Herbie Hancock and Cassandra Wilson have taken an often self-conscious approach to fashioning "new standards" from familiar pop tunes, such groups as the late Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy and Steven Bernstein's Sex Mob have offered looser, less reverent models for jazz cover versions. On his debut CD as a leader, New York trombonist Josh Roseman commits himself to the latter camp. That's no shock, given his résumé, which includes tutelage under Bowie in Brass Fantasy and recording credits with Sex Mob, Don Byron, and Cibo Matto among many others. But how convincingly he counterbalances serious chops with the notion that fun in the service of musical expression is no vice may catch even the most irony-averse listeners by surprise.
The material on Cherry tells much of the story. Roseman folds three originals into a program that includes Otis Blackwell's "Don't Be Cruel," Lennon and McCartney's "If I Fell," Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir," Marvin Gaye's "Just to Keep You Satisfied," and Kurt Cobain's "Smells like Teen Spirit." It would all be terminally hip if it weren't so charmingly rendered by the flexible Josh Roseman Unit, featuring trumpeter Bowie, keyboardist John Medeski, saxophonist Jay Rodriguez, guitarists Ben Monder and David Fiucynski, tuba player Bob Stewart, bassist Scott Colley, drummer Joey Baron, and others. Each player's musical personality comes to the fore at one time or another in creative arrangements. But the guiding musical sensibility clearly spins off Roseman's trombone. His elastic phrasing and emotionally fertile tones, from flatulent and jeering to burnished and romantic, give musical voice to a full range of human foibles and glories. "



to write a review

Stewart SMacJazz Mack

Cherry Power
I bought this a few years ago. It has some real imagination. So many cool originals and sassy cover songs too. Josh is an out front Back Slider on the Trombone. He is a great Tromboner man for sure. Mr. Roseman has some deep talent on this project as well. Looking forward to hearing more from this exceptional sideman. Go Josh go buddy! You have great solos on your Cherry! Bravo.