Trombonist and composer Michael Dessen makes his debut as a leader with Lineal, a collection of all original compositions that explore a rich counterpoint among diverse sound worlds. With tracks by two distinct bands, the album features Dessen in a quartet with Mark Dresser (bass), Vijay Iyer (piano) and Susie Ibarra (drums) as well as a trio with Bob Weiner (drums) and Jorge Roeder (bass), along with a guest appearance by Terry Jenoure (violin). Carefully crafting pieces for both sets of players with their particular sounds and histories in mind, Dessen works from a wide array of departure points, including visual artworks and poetry, the war in Iraq, and tributes to composers such as Eric Dolphy. At once urgent and playful, celebratory and introspective, Lineal charts a fresh tack through the kaleidoscopic currents of contemporary improvised music.
"Dessen thrusts himself into the music with vigor, and plays with a growling, nervy style..."
"Dessen is a clean, ultramodern soloist whose execution, while far from gutbucket, doesn't preclude emotion."
"Wildly spontaneous solos..."
"The music of Cosmologic is initiated by individual members and then doggedly worked and reworked until its internal logics are available for genuinely creative improvisation.... More than impressive."
"III (by Cosmologic) doesn’t so much stand as a document of the history of jazz as a brochure for the infinite varieties of modern improvisation.... Incredibly rewarding... Sure, it takes a little work but, for every cerebral exercise the listener is required to work through, there’s a funky-as-all-hell payoff."
-One Final Note