Mark Dresser, “TrumpinPutinStoopin” from Sedimental You (2016): Something Else! sneak peek

Share this:

There couldn’t have been a timelier song title than this. But how well does the music fit the topic?

Mark Dresser is a jazz bassist and composer who has been active since 1983 and has made over two dozen albums as a leader or co-leader and what must be hundreds of sideman dates for avant-garde heavies such as Anthony Braxton, Nels Cline, Henry Threadgill, Satoko Fujii, John Zorn, Eugene Chadbourne and Jane Ira Bloom. This coming November brings a new CD from him, a Clean Feed Records release called Sedimental You.

Around the time this album is slated for sale, America will decide on a new president. Dresser has weighed in on the campaign in a creatively musical way with “TrumpinPutinStoopin.” Dresser has twice scored for classic silent films and that’s just the sort of atmosphere he devises with this score. Michael Dessen’s frantic, muted trombone even suggests a comedy or cartoon film, or by Dresser’s own description, “a cartoonish prelude to the contrapuntal theme in this tune – you can practically see the despots in animation!”

What I also like is an uncommon lineup of flute (Nicole Mitchell), violin (David Morales Boroff) and bass clarinet (Marty Ehrlich) combining to sketch that contrapuntal theme, vaguely suggestive of 20s and early 30s jazz even if Harlem jazz was never quite played that way. Certainly not the funky passage that briefly features Joshua White’s piano.

In the middle of the theatrics sit Mark Dresser, delivering a patterned pulse or a beat while the fluid cadence of everyone else swirls around him, even drummer Jim Black. At times, he’s the only reason the doesn’t go off into complete, untethered freedom, and during a breakdown point they nearly do before collecting themselves to again take on Dresser’s meticulously crafted — and crafty — melody.


feature photo: Jim Carmody

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
Share this:
Close