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Stephan Crump - 'Rhombal'

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief / @i_ADH

As a composer, Stephan Crump knows how to build. His Rosetta Trio has managed to construct a moving sound as calm as a flowing river that's still powerful enough to erode the rocks in the river's bed. The smoothness of his bass anchors as much as it flies off. When dealing with Liberty Ellman and Jaime Fox's guitars, the fullness and richness is there. When playing, in all sense of the word, with Vijay Iyer's piano and Marcus Gilmore's drums, he bounces along with endless possibilities. However on his latest release, Crump sits in the middle of a quartet that doesn't have a chordal instrument. He alongside trumpeter Adam O'Farrill, tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, and drummer Tyshawn Sorey are making the full sound all their own, carefully placing the jigsaw pieces of notes together into something richer than one could fathom, which says a lot for Stephan Crump.