Charles Rumback

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Two Kinds Of Art Thieves (2009), 6.5/10
In The New Year (2015), 6/10
Cannots (2016), 7/10
Threes (2017), 6/10
Little Common Twist (2019), 6.5/10

Chicago's white drummer Charles Rumback debuted with a quartet featuring two saxophonists (tenorist Joshua Sclar and altoist Greg Ward) and double bassist Jason Ajemian (who had played with the Chicago Underground Trio and Ken Vandermark's Crisis Ensemble) on Two Kinds Of Art Thieves (Clean Feed, 2009). The album contains the subdued and disjointed Ice Factory (9:06), the somnolent Manifesto (10:33), the nostalgic and yearning We Left Green Briar Park (7:59), and, to contrast with these low-energy pieces, the swinging, melodic and energetic Four Ruminations (8:17).

In The New Year (Ears&eyes, 2015) featured Jeff Parker on guitar, The influence of Chicago's post-rock school (Tortoise, Gastr Del Sol, etc) is palpable. Jason Stein on bass clarinet, Caroline Davis on alto saxophone and John Tate on acoustic bass, and contains the letargic and chaotic jamming of Right Reasons (9:20) and the feverish and neurotic Ash Wednesday (9:52) but also the more cohesive quasi-ballad Dragons In Denver (9:18) and the soulful Portrait of Lorena.

Daylight Savings (2015) was a collaboration with John Tate.

Threes (Eears&eyes, 2017) documents a live 2015 performance leading a piano trio (pianist Jim Baker and bassist John Tate). The ten-minute Salt Lines is one of the best demonstrations of his drumming, coupled with bluesy and cascading piano passages, although the bulk of the album is taken up by the 21-minute medley Three Storey Birdhouse/ Right Reasons.

Rumback recorded two albums with post-rock guitarist Ryley Walker. Cannots (Dead Oceans, 2016) contains the noisy Dhoodaan (6:42), the slow, bluesy Cannots (10:16), drenched in psychedelic reverbs, the tranquil and impressionistic River Limmat (7:54) and the evocative, oneiric, raga-tinged Oft Rift (8:36). Little Common Twist (2019), recorded over several sessions throughout 2017 and 2018, is a less ambitious collection of vignettes, albeit more sophisticated, at times barely audible. The slow, pensive and disjointed Self Blind Sun makes the listener absorb every detail of the duet. The stately otherworldly trance of Menebhi and the mournful plucking over brushed drumming and howling effects of And You These Sang coin an eerie form of ambient music. The tense suspense of Idiot Parade enters a metaphysical dimension, as does the propulsive crescendo of closer Worn And Held, while the dilated, psychedelic eight-minute vision of If You're Around And Down explores the fringes of cosmic music. This album was the less "jazzy" yet of Rumback's career.

Seven Bridges (premiered in concert in november 2021) features the leader on drums and guitar, Greg Ward on alto sax, Jason Stein on bass clarinet, Macie Stewart on violin, Jim Baker on analogue synth, John Hughes on electronics, John Tate and Nick Macri on bass, Ron Miles on cornet and Sima Cunningham & Krystal Warren on voices. Ron Miles died in april 2022.

(Copyright © 2021 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
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