June 17, 2024

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CD review: Jeff Cosgrove – Confusing Motion for Progress – 2023: Video, CD cover

Drummer Jeff Cosgrove is making up for lost time from the COVID lockdown and has been hitting the clubs with a variety of bands, all three caught in the act on recently released sessions.

Cosgrove teams up at the Town Run Brewing Company in West Virginia with Jeff Lederer/ts-cl and Mark Lysher/b for a free range collection of originals and covers. With Lederer on clarinet, the team mixes klezmer and blues on an emotive “Going Home” and gets frisky around Cosgrove’s rumble on “Farmer Alfalfa” while the Lederer relaxes with the licorice stick on “Pee Wee’s Blues”. When Lederer is on tenor, the trio plays peek a boo around Lysher on “Softly In A Morning Sunrise” and go for a rapid run on “Stanley’s Package” with Lysher giving an energetic work on the finger walking. Lederer’s tenor is lonely and lovely on “Deep River” and wild and free for “Krystal’s Café”. A rainbow of colors at the brewery.

At the Rust Library in  Leesburg, VA, Cosgrove teams up with beefy toned tenorist Noah Preminger and bassist Kim Cass for some intuitive post bop. Cosgrove is snappy on his drum solo during “AT” and nimble with Cass around Preminger’s clarion call of “Jumbles”. The leader leans in hard on the intro and then bears down into a groove with Preminger hammering out the harmonies on “Everyday Language” Some  suave brush work sashays on “Slips” and softly supports Preminger’s agonies on the mellow “Off-Handed Invitation”. Interactive intuition.

Last up is a summit meeting between  Cosgrove and free jazz giants Ivo Perelman on tenor and pianist Matthew Shipp for a gig at Carrboro, NC that features two songs, a marathon 54 minute opus and a 10.25 excerpt. The former has Perelman swooping, wailing, flailing and ranging between magma subtones and ozone-piercing high pitches, while Shipp’s ectomorphic reach extends from Chopin to stride to avalanche. Cosgrove keeps it together with sticks, mallets and skins, soloing here, accenting there, and directing traffic like a Neopolitan policeman. No fender benders in this rush hour.

The thing I love about Confusing Motion for Progress is how Noah Preminger and Kim Cass interpreted my compositions.  They pushed me to a new place of writing and brought the music to life. They are such creative personalities and incredible musicians that their musical connection brings me into a new sense of awareness around my compositions.  Getting to play this music in front of an audience and really having them help shape the direction of the music through their feedback was really exciting too. On Welcome Home when Jeff Lederer starts to harmonize with the passing train in Dewey’s Tune is a highlight, as well as, when a drunk patron starts to heckle us.  It felt so good to just play.  Mark and I have been playing together for more than 10 years and this was the first time the three of us played together and there was a real vibe that happened.  We were playing in the town that I had lived in for a long time and spent so much of my musical life there, even though I had moved away in recent years, it felt very at home, like only a unique hometown crowd can.  I feel like my sound is a constant state of evolution.  I like to study a lot – drums, world percussion, composition, and different types of music.  Everything I hear and experience changes my sound, even if it is just a little.  I’ve also been really fortunate that I get to play with a lot of different musicians and each time, they bring something new out of my playing.  A lot of those performances get recorded which leads to sound evolution when I go back and study them. Choosing the musicians for both of these recordings felt very natural.  Bassist Mark Lysher and I have been playing together for over 10 years but never recorded together.  I knew his wide and deep sound would fit perfectly with saxophonist Jeff Lederer.  The playing on Welcome Home is the first time they’ve played together, and their musical personalities just fit perfectly.  With Noah Preminger and Kim Cass, those two are just such an incredible unit with a lot of history.  They went to college together and their connection is so strong.  We’ve played together a few times as a trio before this recording and I knew I wanted to capture the sound of the band.  These musicians just really bring the best out of me and my music.  They are such generous musical spirits and I’m so grateful that they give so much life to each note they put out,- an interview with me said drummer Jeff Cosgrove.

We recommend that you definitely have this CD and enjoy it especially during the holidays.

Jeff Cosgrove — Drums

Noah Preminger — Saxophone

Kim Cass — Bass

Tony Gilchriest — Recording Engineer

Katsuhiko Naito — Mixing/Mastering Engineer

Buy from here – New CD 2023

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