Yotam Rosenbaum
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Yotam Rosenbaum


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The title says it all. Life needs its balance, and drummer Yotam Rosenbaum ensures that his musical program of chamber jazz reaches out in several directions to create a lovely landscape. With a classical music feeling floating all around the room, the sounds of piano, violin and vibraphone predominate here. Meanwhile, acoustic bass and drums provide a firm foundation for the quintet’s improvisation. The musicians trade fours and stretch out confidently through this program of Rosenbaum’s original compositions.

Born and raised in Israel, the leader attended music school in Tel Aviv before moving to Boston. After graduation from the Berklee School of Music, he settled in Los Angeles, where he concentrates on his creative composing career. Rosenbaum isn’t the kind of drummer who steals the spotlight. He prefers to lead from the back of the room, shading with his wire brushes, keeping time with a staccato presence, or simply swirling gracefully in the background. It’s his compositions that make the session so exciting. There are impressions from all over the world, each one a vivid reflection.

On Balance, the leader finds a powerful violinist in Mads Tolling and expressive musical partners in pianist Vadim Neselovskyi and vibraphonist Dave Samuels. Bassist Mike Oien takes an extended solo on “In Between” that sings out as lyrically as his partners do throughout the program.

Most of the pieces do not concern themselves with swing. “Sunday,” however, provides an impression of swing, and “Bicycle Tango” drives with a powerful dance motion that can replace swing any day of the week. Rosenbaum’s drum set introduction to his uptempo “Mink” finds him toying with tones from instruments of indefinite pitch. The drummer’s conceptually creative intro leads the quintet into a burning romp that builds decisively with hearts afire.

Recommended for its originality and genuine preference for lyrical beauty, Balance collects a wide spectrum of musical impressions into one creative package. - All About Jazz


Yotam Rosenbaum, award winning composer, arranger, bandleader and drummer has produced a fine album, a mix of different styles and influences in a manner that is a pleasure to listen to. Rosenbaum’s second album Balance is a well-balanced jaunt into the jazz idiom with classical overtones, European folk musical underpinnings, a little Latin flavour and a lot of good music. The musicians are given plenty of freedom, allowing the music to breathe; a very fresh and energetic sound is produced within a cohesive ensemble.

The first track on the recording is entitled “Depression” it is anything but depressing, there are moments where the song is melancholy, however the pianist, Vadim Neselovskyi, opening the song with an enchanting melody plays with such beauty that you can’t help but smile. The song has wonderful texture, with musical embellishments added as the song progresses. A pizzicato violin enters - accentuating the melody with exacting precision, bass violin enters to carry the rhythm, the drummer adds a delicate brushed cymbal and snare. As the vibraphone glides into the melody, the song is elevated into another realm. The musicians cannot help but swing, a joyful rhythmic phrasing of a delightful arrangement builds in dynamic to smoothly return to the beginning and repeat the enchanting opening melody.

The album gains momentum from this point on, with a Tango in an odd time signature, “Bicycle Tango” followed by an up-tempo tune that features a great violin break from Mads Tolling. There are songs that feature solid piano playing from Vadim Neselovskyi, solid bass playing from Mike Oien, an excellent vibraphonist in Dave Samuels and a tasteful and skillful drummer in Yotam Rosenbaum.

One of the highlight tunes of the recording is “Mink” with Monk like piano playing; the liner notes indicate the title is a wordplay of Monk and Mingus. If Mingus played violin he would have played like this fantastic violinist - Mads Tolling. The tune swings, the band grooves, a well-written tune with lots of hooks, well done.

The final song is a tribute to teachers and is dedicated to Dave Samuels, the song “Namaste” provides a lesson in every verse. All of the songs are composed and arranged by Yotam Rosenbaum, whom is also credited with producing the album, a wonderful effort in all disciplines is classically displayed.
- JazzReview.com


Peace Love and Cold Hard Cash (2007)
Balance (2006)
When (2004)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Yotam Rosenbaum is an award-winning drummer and composer. He was born and raised in Israel. At the age of 23 he relocated to the US. He graduated from the acclaimed Berklee College of Music in 2003 majoring in composition.

Yotam’s compositional style stems from his extensive exposure to both jazz and classical music. His creative influences span the stylistic spectrum, from Mozart, Mahler, Stravinsky and Bartok to Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Astor Piazzolla and Frank Zappa, manifesting themselves in his work as a harmonious blend of the traditional and contemporary

As a bandleader, Yotam produced and recorded two full length CD’s of his original music (When 2002, Balance 2006) and has had the privilege of working with some of the best artists working today, including saxophonist Joe Lovano (John Scofield, Carla Bley, Charlie Haden), violinist Mads Tolling (Turtle Island String Quartet, Stanley Clark), Mallet player Dave Samuels (Pat Metheny, Spyro Gyra, Oscar Peterson, Frank Zappa), pianist Vadim Neselovskyi (Garry Burton) and Vocalist Kudisan Kai (Elton John, Chaka Kahn, Sting).

Yotam’s talent and accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. This past year, he was commissioned by the American Composer Forum to compose a new piece for the Belladonna Baroque Ensemble. In addition, he received the Richard Levy Award for Outstanding Musicianship, as well as the Berklee World Tour Scholarship. Most recently he won the ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award so as the ASCAPLUS Award.