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Charles Rumback

Seven Bridges (LP)

Label: Astral Spirits

Format: LP

Genre: Jazz

In stock


On his 7th album as a leader, Chicago drummer Charles Rumback explores the many ambiances that comprise his musical territory, leading a combo with serious improvisers such as cornetist Ron Miles, alto saxophonist Greg Ward and bass clarinetist Jason Stein

Seven Bridges begins with the atmospheric tide of “Whatever It Takes”, a less-than-a-minute horn-infused exercise that almost plays like a free-form understatement. It leads to the pop song “Fall Dog Bombs the Moon”, sung by Sima Cunningham and Krystle Warren, where we have trumpet, violin and bass clarinet dancing around their words. Both singers are also featured on “Regina”, a warm, leaping 3/4 song that would fit into the repertoires of The Beautiful South and Tom Waits alike.

“K10” and “Fast Shadows” work well as improvisational interactions but could have been shortened since they don’t bring much into the fold after a while. The former is paved with a walking bass figure and brushed drums, having untangled rumbles and responsive dialogues atop; the latter carries a sense of freedom that is first authenticated by Rumback’s introductory drum work, being extended to the ever-grooving bass and electronics. Embracing a tranquil state of grace, “Hometown Heroes” flows with guitar, bass, muted trumpet and violin, which at some point shifts from screechy repetitive bows to pizzicato melodies. In a similar spirit, “Three Ruminations” dances lightly with composed brushwork and neat melodies provided by Miles and Ward. The cornetist shapes his statements sculpturally on the poignant “Reno County”, where he is followed by Macie Stewart’s creative individuality. He then joins her for a final accented ostinato.

The hypnotic “Storybook Skyline” is a bonus track only available in the digital format, and Miles' consistent ideas stand out once again. Rumback probes new directions here, and he has ample room to expand them and improve in the future.  

Cat. number: AS151
Year: 2022
First pressing of 700 copies on Black Wax

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