Charles Rumback (Via Tania, Stirrup, Colorlist): In The New Year featuring Jeff Parker, Jason Stein, Caroline Davis & John Tate

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Charles Rumback
In The New Year (ee: 15-o38)
a quintet featuring Jeff Parker, Jason Stein, Caroline Davis and John Tate from a world of improvising genius, mixed to mono.

Digital / Limited-Physical Formats
Street Date: December 4 2015
Pre-Orders: November 6 2015

Private, Press-Only Stream: SoundCloud
(download codes available)

Press Folder (hi-res photos included)

Video Trailer

Personnel (individual bios below):
Charles Rumback – drums (Nina Nastasia, Stirrup, Whirlpool)

Jeff Parker – guitar (Brian Blade, Joshua Redman, Tortoise)

Jason Stein – bass clarinet (Ken Vandermark, Rob Mazurek, Michael Zerang, Peter Brotzman)

Caroline Davis  – alto saxophone (Matt Wilson, Ellis Marsalis, Bobby Broom, Von Freeman)

John Tate – acoustic bass (Tony Malaby, Ben Monder)


  • CD Release Show at a secret location, to be announced, home to some of the most important jazz and improvised music heard in Chicago, December 3rd alongside an “ears&eyes Showcase” string of nights and performances.
  • Mixed and mastered to mono.
  • Exclusive video trailer release on Something Else! Reviews

Story: Drummer Charles Rumback Releases Quietly Startling Quintet Album


As a drummer and composer, Charles Rumback personifies the inclusive spirit that has become a hallmark of the music scene in his adopted hometown of Chicago. But while he’s been a crucial part of numerous jazz and rock bands—as well as serving as an ideal rhythmic collaborator to singer/songwriters—Rumback is stepping out further as a leader with his new quintet disc, In The New Year (ears&eyes).


“I’ve been writing music since I was 19, but it was always for the people I was playing with—whether a collaborative group or whatever,” Rumback said. “As I started to get more work all over the place, it was great, but I was spreading myself too thin. I thought if I don’t start doing my own thing, there won’t be time for it to happen. So that’s when I decided to make an effort to make it happen and then it did.”


All of Rumback’s myriad musical experiences resonate throughout In The New Year. The quick-thinking improvisational dialogues that shape his co-led trio Stirrup and duo Colorlist inform this quartet’s distinctive harmonies. Rumback also brings in the melodic sensibilities that has been key to his work with such inventive singers as Nina Nastasia and Angela James. His writing also allows for such versatile settings while creating model frameworks for improvised movements. (Read more below…)
Previous Press:

  • “Some new influences are at work here.” – Art Lange,
  • “Rumback managed to create his own voice with a first release: subtle and sensitive, with lots of attention to the overall sound” – Stef,
  • “Rumback also layers a transcendental aura within these pieces. It’s music with a distinct persona, unlike many other offerings of this ilk.” – Glenn Astarita, Ejazznews


  • Recorded and Mixed by Felix Reyes at House of Tone in Oak Park IL USA
  • Mastered by Peter Andreadis at All City Mastering in Chicago IL USA
  • Cover art by Jordan Martins




Jeremy Cunningham Quartet on tour:
Jeremy Cunningham: drums, Jeff Parker: guitar, Josh Johnson: sax, John Tate: bass

  • Oct 28 California Clipper Chicago IL
  • Oct 29th Urban Artifact Cincinnati OH
  • Oct 30th Masterclass: Jeff, Jeremy duo at Urban Artifact 12pm
  • Oct 30th Dreamland Louisville, KY
  • Oct 31st Cliff Bells Detroit, MI
  • Nov 1st Casa del Popolo Montreal, QC
  • Nov 2nd Tranzac Club Toronto, ON
  • Nov 3rd Nighttown Cleveland, OH

ears&eyes Records Showcase: featuring CD release shows by Charles Rumback’s In The New Year (with Fred Lonberg-Holm) & Caroline Davis’ Doors: Chicago Storylines. Other performances include Dave Miller, Rooms Trio, SUN SPEAK & Twin Talk. December 3rd, 4th & 5th at three different venues in Chicago, including Constellation. For more details, feel free to inquire.

RELEASED TODAY! Darts & Arrows’ (a Bill MacKay-led group) Altamira.
Purchase link. Press stream & SoundCloud. And we’re happy to share free download codes.

Charles Rumback: continued
“I don’t believe in genres, but I listen to music that can be called a lot of different things,” Rumback said. “Even though people would say that In The New Year is a jazz record, when I’m writing, I don’t think, ‘Oh, this is a 32-bar form, I got to do that.’ And that frees me from limitations.”


Rumback’s quintet for In The New Year is composed of like-minded players with an unconventional lineup that features alto saxophonist Caroline Davis, bass clarinetist Jason Stein, guitarist Jeff Parker and bassist John Tate. All of them emerged through Chicago’s continually evolving jazz community.


“Caroline and Jason both bring a different side as horn players,” Rumback said. “Caroline loves getting inside the changes, but Jason does these wild dynamic things that push the music in a different way. They sound great together. Jeff’s a harmonic genius—every time I write these weird chords, he never asks questions. John stays down low and pushes it along in a great way. Sometimes as an instrumentalist, John does the heavy lifting because I’m more thinking about dynamics than the pulse. It goes back and forth but it’s a shared workload between John and me.”


These musicians feel just as strongly about Rumback. Parker commented, “Charles is a super-flexible musician—he’s very open-minded conceptually and when I play music with him it feels like we can go in any direction, because he’s got so many resources and experiences to draw from. He’s worked at getting a great sound on the drums and composes with a similarly open-ended palette.”


Six of the eight pieces on In The New Year are Rumback’s own, along with Tate’s “Peaceful Giant” (a tribute to Ron Carter) and a new interpretation of classic jazz composer Andrew Hill’s “Tough Love.” All of these works showcase Rumback’s lifelong interest in working with both defined structures and spontaneous open-ended solos: In his quintet’s hands these seemingly disparate elements easily blend. His own tunes range from the succinct title track (which has no improvised movements) to the multi-part suite, “Dragons In Denver.” And on “Portrait Of Lorena,” Parker’s ear for unusual harmony adds new dimensions to one of the first compositions that Rumback wrote. An emphasis on quiet, yet compelling, group dynamics tie all of the tracks together.


“In a lot of the bands I love, it’s the melody, harmony, texture—all those things are really present,” Rumback said. “Sometimes it ends up being more on the free improvised side, sometimes it’s really structured. Where there are subtle melodies there are also strong harmonies underneath it, like on Andrew Hill’s ‘Tough Love.’ He can do so much with a simple melody because of the harmony and the way the musicians are propelling behind it.”


A native of Hutchinson, Kansas, Rumback immersed himself in disparate musical idioms from an early age. Shortly after discovering John Coltrane and Miles Davis albums as a pre-teen, he spent the next four years backing local R&B saxophonist Ralph Brown. He moved to Chicago in 2001 where he completed his music degree at Roosevelt University. Over the next 14 years, more groups in the city have highlighted his drumming and compositions. In 2009, he released his debut as a leader, Two Kinds Of Art Thieves (Clean Feed). As Rumback has pursued opportunities around the world, he has collaborated with renowned trumpeter Ron Miles, including in the collaborative group, Whirlpool. Miles already knows what the world can expect from In The New Year.


“Charles is one of the most musical drummers on the scene right now,” Miles said. “He elevates every bandstand I have heard him on. Sensitive, creative, propulsive and dynamic—Chicago is lucky to have him. And the rest of us appreciate the Windy City’s willingness to share him.”
Individual Bios:
Jeff Parker (b. Bridgeport, Connecticut USA, 4/4/67) is a guitarist, composer and educator and longtime member of the influential indie-band Tortoise, Parker is recognized as one of contemporary music’s most versatile and innovative electric guitarists and composers. With a prolific output characterized by musical ideas of angularity and logic, he works in a wide variety of mediums – from pop, rock and jazz to new music – using ideas informed by innovations and trends in both popular and experimental forms. He creates works that explore and exploit the contrary relationships between tradition and technology, improvisation and composition, and the familiar and the abstract. An integral part of what has become known as “The Modern Chicago Sound” he is also a founding member of the critically acclaimed and innovative groups Isotope 217˚ and Chicago Underground, and has been an associate member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1995. A look at his work as a sideman offers a glimpse into Mr. Parker’s diversity. This list includes: Andrew Bird, The Ex, Joshua Redman, Toumani Diabate, Nicole Mitchell, Yo La Tengo, Daniel Lanois, Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band, Jason Moran, Matana Roberts, Joey DeFrancesco, Nels Cline, Charles Earland, Ken Vandermark, Dave Douglas, Fred Anderson, Tom Zé, and Meshell Ndegeocello. Parker has released several albums as a leader, all to critical acclaim, including: Like-Coping (2001), The Relatives (2004) and Bright Light In Winter (2012). “His sound is unmistakable, spastic and unpredictable, yet at the same time precise and refined…history will certainly reflect that he is one of the more noteworthy guitarists of his generation.” – Dusted Magazine. “The most humble guitar-god…whether digging into instrumental rock, groove-heavy organ jazz, or post-freedom space music, Parker chooses to highlight the more eccentric elements of his personal style. Rather than morphing to fit the music at hand, he somehow creates the illusion of bending the environment to his own sound.” -Neil Tesser,

Jason Stein was born in 1976 and is originally from Long Island, New York. Stein is one of the few musicians working today to focus entirely on the bass clarinet as a jazz and improvisational instrument. He studied at Bennington College with Charles Gayle and Milford Graves, and at the University of Michigan with Donald Walden and Ed Sarath. In 2005, Stein relocated to Chicago and has since worked with many amazing musicians including Jeb Bishop, Ken Vandermark, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Jeff Parker, Rob Mazurek, Mike Reed, Mike Pride, Frank Rosaly, Joshua Abrams and many others. Stein has a discography of over 25 albums and has recorded for such labels as Leo, Delmark, Atavistic, 482 Music, and Clean Feed. “Stein is exhilarating, a young master of his fiendishly difficult horn. Stein is a player to look out for.” – Chris May, All About Jazz. “Stein stands apart from the standard instrumental lineage. Whereas a player like Eric Dolphy or Michel Portal builds on wide intervallic leaps and verticality, Stein (like Michel Pilz, Rudi Mahall or John Tchicai) operates in a horizontal fashion, favoring a breadth of twists and turns more sideways than anything else, woven into a post-Ornette fabric.” – Clifford Allen, All About Jazz


Caroline Davis: Acknowledged for the “passion, polish” (Chicago Reader), and “dark-toned” approach (Down Beat) exhibited on her 2012 debut album, Live Work & Play, composer-saxophonist Caroline Davis was born (1981) and raised in Singapore of European expatriate parents, and boasts a story that is anything but conventional. She spent early school years in the rough and tumble of Atlanta, became musically enriched living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and blossomed in Chicago as a professional musician. After acquiring both a Bachelor of Music in Jazz and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington, she bridged those areas in acquiring a Ph.D. in Music Cognition at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she gained what Down Beat called her “psychological advantage.” In 2005, Davis received the Distinguished Graduate Student Award for her presentation on jazz communication at the Performance Matters conference in Portugal. In 2006, she received a Down Beat outstanding soloist award and was selected as one of five young jazz musicians to play with Sisters in Jazz, a program administered by the now-defunct International Association for Jazz Education devoted to the mentorship of women in jazz. In 2011, she played at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC as part of the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program. It brings together young emerging artists for two weeks of intense training with distinguished faculty, including George Cables, Curtis Fuller, Winard Harper, Nathan Davis, Chip Jackson, and Carmen Lundy.


John Tate: A member of New York City’s creative music community, Brooklyn-residing bassist, composer, and educator John Tate has performed throughout North America, Central America, South America, Europe, and Australia with musicians including Von Freeman, Matt Wilson, Tony Malaby, Ben Monder, Jeff Parker, Carl Allen, Rodney Jones, Bill Carrothers, Victor Goines, and George Fludas, among others. Tate holds a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Performance from Northern Illinois University and an Artist Diploma in Jazz Studies from the Juilliard School. During his time at Juilliard, Tate was an apprentice of distinguished bassist and pedagogue Ron Carter and had the honor of performing with a twelve member bass choir including Christian McBride and Buster Williams for the tribute concert Ron Carter at 75: A Life in Music in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. Prior to New York, Tate was an in-demand bassist and educator in Chicago, IL. During this time he was a member of the Moshier-Lebrun Collective, recording two albums with the band, The Local Colorists (2013) and Touch and Go: The Studs Terkel Project (2014), which the group recorded as the recipients of Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works Grant 2009 and were showcased on NPR’s JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater in May 2012. Tate also was a member of Marquis Hill’s Blacktet and Fareed Haque’s Flat Earth Ensemble and recorded on Hill’s debut album New Gospel (Skiptone 2011) and on Haque’s album Out of Nowhere (Charleston Square 2013.) Tate’s new album Daylight Savings (Ears and Eyes 2015), is an acoustic bass and drum exhibition with collaborator Charles Rumback. Recorded by John Hughes at HFT Studios in Chicago, this release shines the spotlight on what is commonly the backdrop of most jazz groups; the rhythm section. Rumback and Tate create an intimate and captivating sound on each track.

Video Trailer for Caroline Davis’ Doors: Chicago Storylines





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