SaxMarc
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SaxMarc

Huachuca City, Arizona, United States

Huachuca City, Arizona, United States
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Reviews for Marc Rosen's Latest CD: MONSOON

“This CD reminds me of some of the great musical things that Chet (Baker) and Gerry (Mulligan) used to do during the early 50s at the Haig, a small jazz club in Hollywood.
The musicianship is together and I feel that each player expressed himself very well. I think its a damn good CD!!”

--Artt Frank, longtime Bop drummer with Chet Baker and many other luminaries including Charlie Parker.
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EJAZZ News-ejazznews.com-October 31, 2006

Nuff said!! This project is a virtual 'monsoon' of musical energy....Replete with all the ingredients of jazz: animated melodic lines, challenging harmonies, the abstract, the avant' garde, interspersed with some traditional mainstream jazz....Intensely melodic reed man Marc Rosen delivers a CD project loaded with rhythmic strength. His sound is emotional but not flamboyant. He plays with a striking artistic sensibility & viewpoint....And, I might add his control of musical imagery is nothing short of commanding.

--George W. Carroll/The Musicians' Ombudsman
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EJAZZ News-ejazznews.com-November 2, 2006
5 Stars!
An easy going sextet that swings comfortably and confidently. Led by Marc Rosen on Bari and tenor (and his five compadres). This album will catch your ear with it's melodic message.

Check out "Charlie's Comin' (the last track) This tune struts proudly with Dave Davidson swinging mightily on the keys. This song jumps and hollers with enthusiasm.

This is a stellar group that has the right idea with superb arrangements and outstanding soloists.

--John Gilbert
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EJAZZ News-ejazznews.com-November 8, 2006

Saxophonist Marc Rosen professes to be highly influenced by the play of legendary baritone great Gerry Mulligan and to this end he aptly borrows much of Mulligan’s melodic lines and harmonic style in recording Monsoon. The album provides eleven original compositions from Rosen, members of the band and arranger, David Wolpe, all played in a tasteful interpretation of the master’s flair. Pianist Dave Davidson, bassist Scott Baekeland, drummer Fred Johnson and Paul Beuning on the trumpet and flugelhorn team up for Rosen’s musical support.

While the liner notes, which are sparse, indicate that the project was recorded in a studio, the audio reveals a certain live performance quality as if the band were playing in a club setting. Rosen’s burly and raspy baritone sound is by far the prominent voice on this disc providing standout solos. The music is new and contemporary yet reminiscent of the Mulligan sound.

Notable tracks include the brisk opener “Mark VI,” the very jazzy “One-Eyed Jack,” the ballad-like “Dormindinha,” the quick and bouncy “Eurydice’s Theme” and the stylish melodic “Rolling Thunder.” When aficionados think of baritone saxophonists, the ones who come to mind are of course Mulligan, Gary Smulyan, Bill Ramsey and now Marc Rosen. A fine performance by Rosen and crew make Monsoon a respectable album.

--Edward Blanco

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All About Jazz-November 9, 2006

It's no secret, especially given the accompanying press kit and artist’s comments, that this album provides a contemporary spin on the sounds and style of the late, great baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan. But Marc Rosen and other band members wrote original compositions for Monsoon, so this set is not a verbatim rehashing of the Mulligan songbook. The baritone saxophonist and his jazztet revitalize the ultra-cool, yet intricately devised harmonic attributes steeped within Mulligan’s storied legacy. The saxophonist’s sound and methodology here leans more towards the Chet Baker/Mulligan ‘50s sessions, but with a modern hue.

Rosen’s primary strengths are firmed up by his fluent baritone sax work and enhanced by an absolutely striking tone, where soft inflections and shadings loom as a vital component of his overall attack. Amid the bounce and chutzpah of his band, Rosen’s prime objective is realized using good-natured swing and a somewhat ballsy approach. He trades vibrant fours with trumpeter and flugelhornist Paul Beuning, but a good deal of the magic surfaces when the soloists partake in peppery, bop-based unison runs.
Rosen’s luscious tone radiates on the sanguine ballad “Dormindinha,”... the saxophonist triumphantly bridges the old with the new by personalizing and transforming his love for Mulligan’s aura into this clear-sighted and irrefutably charming production.
--Glenn Astarita
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Midwestern Record Recap-November 22, 2006:
 
It's one thing to be derivative and deny it, it's another thing to want to channel the spirit of Gerry Mulligan and be proud of it and succeed as well.  Rosen was bitten by the Mulligan bug at an early age, and while it's clear he's his own sax man, there's something about the Mulligan
vibe that he has a feel for, even when working out on originals by him and his crew.  Having the under current of being something familiar while being something new, this is a smoking set generations of jazzbos can meet easily over and find enjoyable common ground.  Check this out if you want to come up with a new, tasty blowing date that won't let you down.

--Chris Spector
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Jazz Society of Oregon, “Jazzscene”, January, 2007:
One doesn't have to get too far into this recording to understand Rosen's debt to fellow baritone ace Gerry Mulligan. Having said that, there's also a "touch" of Serge Chaloff in Rosen's approach. The CD is comprised of eleven originals from various members of Rosen's sextet, thus providing the listener with a variety of tempos and some well-conceived melody lines.
--George Fendel
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Discography

"High Altitude Swing"-with Big Time Operator. CD sold thousands of copies throughout the country and got significant radio airplay.
"Dreams of Madrid"-with Deuterium.
"Soul Space"-with the Rio Chama Trio.
"Monsoon"-with the Sweet Thunder Jazztet.

Photos

Bio

Playing jazz, blues, and swing for over 35 years:

Rosen’s first professional gig was at the age of 14, for the Illinois state judge's convention in Chicago. He played clarinet and tenor sax in a jazz trio, with his brother playing flute and a friend playing keyboard. “I was amazed to discover that I could have fun playing and get paid.” Rosen’s trio grew into a five piece band called "Sweet Thunder." All during high school and part of college, "Sweet Thunder" played all over the Midwest, playing weddings, corporate events, country club events, bar mitzvahs, and select club dates. Rosen also played in his high school jazz band, which was fortunate enough to share the stage with Urbie Green, Bobby Rosengarden, and Don Ellis.

Frequent trips to Chicago during high school, and being allowed into the jazz clubs at an early age, gave Rosen an opportunity to hear and meet great players such as Dexter Gordon, Sonny Stitt, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Dizzy Gillespie, Cannonball and Nat Adderly, Dave Brubeck, and, most importantly, the legendary baritone sax player, cool jazz arranger and composer, Gerry Mulligan Rosen remembers, “The first time I heard Gerry Mulligan was at a small club called Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase. At the time, the club was downstairs from a rock room. It was a small place, and we tried to go at least once or twice a month to see who was there. Mulligan was there with a quartet, and as usual, we sat about one foot in front of the stage. Mulligan's baritone looked like it was held together with tape and string. I was blown away by his sound on the baritone. I just couldn't believe the big horn could be so beautiful and expressive. That was when I really started studying the baritone and trying to emulate what I had heard."

Rosen furthered his studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a music major on the baritone sax. There he played in several of the jazz bands. Rosen also had the opportunity to play in several professional bands throughout his college years, and got to open for and appear with Joe Williams, Count Basie, Cannonball Adderly and other greats during those years.

After college Rosen eventually moved to Los Angeles. His experiences as a professional player continued with several bands, appearing at mostly corporate and wedding functions. Rosen took a hiatus from playing professionally when his life took the path of a law student. The rigor of law school did not allow his schedule to continue to gig and study at the same time. After graduation he moved to San Diego to start working as an attorney. His love of music never left him, though, and the spark of playing rekindled its fire again. Rosen began playing out again in San Diego with several different bands.

For a few years, he played baritone sax, clarinet, and soprano sax with “Big Time Operator,” a very successful 10 piece swing band. The group played Las Vegas often, including gigs at the Desert Inn and monthly appearances at the Hard Rock Cafe Casino. They also made regular appearances at the Derby, the Viper Room, the Hollywood Athletic Club and other high profile venues in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The group also appeared on national TV shows. Big Time Operator recorded a CD called "High Altitude Swing," which sold several thousand copies throughout the country.

Rosen grew as a player by additional gigs with such groups as; The Shelltown Horns, an amazing blues band; Deuterium, a jazz quartet; Summit Circle, Rosen’s own jazz trio; Swing Shift, an 11 piece swing and rhythm and blues band; and Duck Soup, a jazz sextet. Deuterium recorded a CD entitled "Dreams of Madrid".

Rosen then moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. There, he played with the high powered blues band the “Motor Kings”, which, among other great gigs, opened for Delbert McClinton. Rosen also played clarinet with a jazz trio called “Three Faces of Jazz. He also played clarinet and was the leader of The Rio Chama Trio, and produced a CD of the trio called “Soul Space.

Rosen's fascination with cool jazz has never waned. One reviewer said, "With [Mulligan] as his musical model, [Rosen] developed his own baritone sax sound and style. [Rosen] has musical talent and intelligence, and he has practically resurrected the best of Gerry Mulligan. ...[Rosen's] tone quality and facility on the baritone sax [are] unusually nice..."

Rosen continues his exploration of the cool jazz style, and to expand and modernize it, without losing its unique and satisfying melodic power. "Our goal,” he said, “is to bring cool jazz back to the attention of the world. I think the baritone sax is one of the most beautiful and expressive instruments there are. Most people who hear our music find that it really moves them. We want to bring that enjoyment to as many people as we can.”