Frank Rosaly's Todos de Pie! Agenda All Ages Free Member Picks Recommended

When: Thu., Aug. 23, 6:30 p.m. 2012

This is the year that Chicago drummer Frank Rosaly—born in Arizona to Puerto Rican parents—finally chose to explore his ethnic roots. In June he debuted the free-jazz quartet Bootstrap, named after a midcentury U.S.-led industrialization project in Puerto Rico and intended to reflect a spirit of resistance that Rosaly associates with the island's people; tonight he digs deeper into Puerto Rico's music with a newer and much larger band called ¡Todos de Pie! ("Everybody Stand Up!"). Much of the group's repertoire consists of material by influential 50s and 60s bandleader Efrain "Mon" Rivera and of songs Rosaly encountered on Lamento Borincano (Arhoolie), a compilation of music recorded by Puerto Rican immigrants in New York between 1916 and '39. Rosaly says he's trying to modernize the material—as a model he cites guitarist Marc Ribot and his group Los Cubanos Postizos, who electrified the music of Arsenio Rodriguez—and the rehearsal recordings he shared with me subtantiate his claim, particularly in the way Nate McBride's fuzzy electric bass and Alex Farha's distorted tres slalom through the dense polyrhythms. The lineup of ¡Todos de Pie! is varied and fascinating—adventurous jazz players make up the front line (trombonists Jeb Bishop and Nick Broste, reedist Cameron Pfiffner, keyboardist Ben Boye, and experimental Dutch vocalist Jaap Blonk), and Rosaly's drumming gets a powerful assist from four members of Chicago roots ensemble Las BomPleneras (Ivelisse Diaz, Maya Fernandez, Kenia Guerra, and Jessica Rodriguez), whose percussion underlines the signature Puerto Rican rhythms of bomba and plena. The drummer's father, Don Francisco Rosaly, will even join in on congas for a couple of pieces. —Peter Margasak

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