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Jason Adasiewicz: Rolldown
Jason Adasiewicz main page
year: 2008   |   cat#: 482-1054


1. Good Looking Android
2. Small Potatoes
3. Valerie
4. Creep
5. Nearby
6. Little Screw
7. Gather

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Document Chicago #14

Rolldown includes seven studio tracks and an eight minute video, takes its name from Adasiewicz's band of the same name featuring Josh Berman, Aram Shelton, Jason Roebke and Frank Rosaly.

"Composing pieces for Rolldown started with free improvisation on the piano," explains Adasiewicz, who wrote all the music during a year in Madison, Wisconsin in which he supported his wife's academic pursuits and re-evaluated his life while working on a vegetable farm. "The melodies are usually comprised of more than one voice and the tunes do not follow a chord progression, but were constructed using conventional ABA song form. Harmony is created spontaneously during the group's improvisation, and the rhythm, while deeply rooted in the jazz tradition, at times pulls away from any suggestion of pulse."

"He emphasizes his terrific originals in Rolldown," wrote the Chicago Reader's Peter Margasak, adding, many songs on Rolldown "recall the brilliantly oblique postbop material Bobby Hutcherson recorded for Blue Note in the late 60s, but others are based on gently rippling, coloristic passages. Adasiewicz lays down spiky, sweet-and-sour harmonies behind the solos, and his own improvisations are jagged tangles that make unexpected turns and recapitulations."

Adasiewicz is a member of more than 20 working bands, including the Guillermo Gregorio Trio, Fred Lonberg-Holm's Valentine Trio + 1, Rob Mazurek's Exploding Star Orchestra, the Nicole Mitchell Quartet and Ken Vandermark's Double Quartet. His debut as a leader on 482 Music follows a long association with the label that includes recordings with Aram Shelton's Arrive, Harris Eisenstadt and Mike Reed's Loose Assembly. He also appears on two tracks from the sampler that launched the label's Document Chicago series in 2003.

Also available in an alternate vinyl version.

Musicians: Jason Adasiewicz (vibraphone), Josh Berman (cornet), Jason Roebke (bass), Frank Rosaly (drums), Aram Shelton (alto saxophone)

"Vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz has been turning heads for years in groups led by folks like Rob Mazurek and Mike Reed, and his debut as a leader makes good on that promise. Adasiewicz is clearly inspired by Eric Dolphy\'s Out to Lunch: his playing owes a debt to the spiky, ambiguous harmonies of vibist Bobby Hutcherson, and the craggy melodies he\'s written for reedist Aram Shelton and cornetist Josh Berman are full of thrilling intervallic leaps a la Dolphy. But Rolldown is hardly a tribute band, and in their larger gestures, Adasiewicz’s compositions don’t sound much like the tunes on Out to Lunch. He applies a stronger hand to the music\'s direction - his complicated, multipartite pieces would hold up even without any soloing, and they give the players a lot to chew on when they do improvise. Generally the tunes ride on tricky grooves from bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Frank Rosaly, who expertly adds color and texture to his playing even in a strict timekeeping role, but the luminous \"Nearby\" departs radically from that feel, layering all five voices to create a delicate collective sound." — Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

"Vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz has become so ubiquitous in Chicago that it comes as a bit of a shock to realize that this is the first record to come out under his own is a promising debut." — Bill Meyer, DownBeat

"...a quintet of astounding musical proportion and depth, playing music that seems to have no limits of imagination, wit or wisdom..." — Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide

"A promising debut, Rolldown is the 14th album in 482 Music\'s Document Chicago series, and reveals Adasiewicz to be a new voice worthy of attention in that fertile scene." — Troy Collins,

"Adasiewicz\'s compositions and arrangements immediately bring Blue Note-era Jackie McLean and Eric Dolphy to mind, but the sourcing, while obvious, doesn’t feel slavish or hackneyed. The instrumentation... also engenders instant comparison, but again it\'s hardly evidence of plagiarism. Adasiewicz and his colleagues absorb the basic tenets put forth on those Sixties vinyl classics and place a 21st century personal spin on them... Vibraphonists seeking to extend the pioneering work accomplished by doyens like Hutcherson and Dickerson are relatively few. Adasiewicz is certainly countable among that modest number and this debut will hopefully mean the first of many more albums to follow." — Derek Taylor, Bagatellen

"The new album is both Adasiewicz\'s promising first step as a leader and a powerful statement." — Matthew Lurie, Time Out Chicago

"The attractiveness of this music is, perhaps, Adasiewicz boldly placing Rosaly and Roebke so far forward in the mix. Acting more than time and rhythm keepers, they prod the frontline players constantly. This total commitment to a group sound makes Rolldown a special band and album, and Adasiewicz a revelation as a new jazz composer." — Mark Corroto,

"...with Rolldown, Adasiewicz makes it known that in addition to his thrilling performances with others, his own work is equally compelling." — Jay Collins, Jazzgram

"Vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz is one of a number of rising new vibe players of particular note..." — Mark F. Turner,

"...Adasiewicz plays biting, angular phrases and feeds riffs for the soloists to bounce off, among them bluesy cornet player Josh Berman and fine, hustling alto saxophonist and clarinettist Aram Shelton..." — Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise

"...packed with event and dynamic contrast... is a superior entry in 482 Music\'s ongoing documentation of the Chicago scene and... the follow up should be eagerly awaited." — John Sharpe, All About Jazz

More Information...

Rolldown Cadence

Video at YouTube

All Music Guide

Bagatellen review

All About Jazz #1

All About Jazz #2

All About Jazz #3

All About Jazz #4

Time Out Chicago Feature

New Chicago Underground - All About Jazz New York

Jason Adasiewicz main page at

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