Roswell’s sense of drama is matched by his razor-sharp sense of where he belongs in the world of sound. He plays not just Jazz but born of pure sound from a whisper to a shout and everything in between, when he plays great gusts of wind awake and take flight carrying stories of life and love across the stratosphere. Every now and then he engages in a dialogue – with Howard Johnson, Sheila Jordan and scores of others down to Heather Masse and Fay Victor, with whom he performed the ineffably beautiful “Embrace”.
Each time he plays he is wind and lion, man and Magus. He plays with Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp and Steve Lacy, and the Jazz avant-garde is never the same after that, just as he did with his early Dixieland and other Jazz bands. He is the flame – not the moth – and he draws musicians to him as he dances, trombone and sometimes mute in hand, in the bluest part of that proverbial flame. They come from everywhere to sing and swing: the funksters, blues wailers; and those playing in and out of clave, straight-ahead and music from Mali to Mongolia.
“No matter what situation or person inspires me, it’s always about the sound,” Roswell says, “The only person in the Western world who was religious about sound was Pythagoras, going back 2500 years; his followers, the Pythagoreans—we’re sound worshippers…It’s a continuing revelation to me, the resources of the trombone…The expressive… and tonal resources are infinite… There’s room for all the great trombone personalities in the world in this instrument.”
One day Roswell lets us in on a secret – the one that best describes his longevity: “Get up every day and write some melody,” he says. Many of these melodies will be played at The Murmurr Theatre on 17 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, NY. And Roswell will attend in the spirit, if not in the body. Verna Gillis, his partner of 17 years, will preside. Also in attendance will be Heather Masse, Lafayette Harris, Ken Filiano and of course, Roswell’s brothers-in-arms, The Trombone Tribe, Steven Bernstein, Bobby Sanabria, Chris Washburne and others.
They are gathering to celebrate Roswell, who sends a message to us all: “I never left, and now I’m back…”
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm
Tickets $20.00 and you’ll find the link to buy them here
Dedicated with love to my friends Roswell Rudd, and to Verna Gillis who (with love) keeps the faith…