Best Local Jazz Album of 2008 … a jazz album that respects, of all things, melody." --Mpls/ St. Paul Magazine.
This release contains compositions by band members Bryan Nichols and Chris Bates, as well as new original music by Kelly Rossum. Along with the diverse original compositions, Rossum includes three covers on this release. Pure Imagination," Somebody Come and Play," and If I Were A Bell" are all given the unique Minneapolis treatment.
About the Musicians
Bryan Nichols - piano. Recently hailing from Chicago, IL, Bryan has returned to the Minneapolis jazz scene. While in Chicago, he was selected to be part of Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead program. He has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Green Mill in Chicago, as well as the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and in festivals across Europe.
Chris Bates - bass. He was a founding member of the Motion Poets; a Minneapolis based jazz sextet. The Motion Poets recorded three albums of original material and toured the US extensively for six years. Chris was also the recipient of a McKnight Composers Fellowship in 1999. Currently, he leads two of his own stellar projects: Framework and Low Blows.
JT Bates - drums. A Minneapolis native, he co-founded Fat Kid Wednesdays, a jazz trio exploring original music. He is a primary force behind the Clown Lounge, a recent haven for modern jazz musicians in the Twin Cities. He continues to perform with Anthony Cox, Poor Line Condition and Fat Kid Wednesdays as well as touring Europe with Francois Corneloup.
The theme of Family is obvious, and whether it's with relatives or musicians with common interests, it's a sense of community that we look for and try to pass on. With his music, Rossum says no matter how far you travel, you can always come back to the embrace of those who love and support you from the start. One of the best jazz albums of 2008." --John Book, The Run-Off Groove.
Family is consistently strong, with an emotional and thematic coherence suggested by, though not rigidly constrained by, the concept embodied in its title. It is possible that Rossum would make a much greater splash if he were to leave Minneapolis for New York. Then again, such a move might radically change the tenor of his work. If so, we can be glad he has stayed put." --Jeff Dayton-Johnson, All About Jazz.
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 [...] As usual, Rossum and his band continually prod and stretch and tinker with expectations, coming up with stuff that's resolutely fresh and original." --Rick Mason, City Pages.
It may be Rossum's most mainstream, radio-friendly release yet, but be advised that 'A Word From Our Sponsors' sounds indebted to Ornette Coleman, and 'Pure Imagination,' seems as close to Anthony Braxton as Anthony Newley in Rossum's surprise-filled rendition. Or to put it another way, while kids of all ages and jazz fans of all stripes (boppers, swingers, KBEM listeners) are invited to Rossum's party, the punch he serves up is often well-spiked." --Tom Surowicz, Star Tribune.