Life's Blood Ensemble, Berkeley CA (left to right Mark Clifford, Rent Romus, Max Judelson, Heikki Koskinen, Timothy Orr, Joshua Marshall) photo by Peter B Kaars
Rent Romus' Life's Blood Ensemble
"Indeed, Romus and associates have reached a milestone with this top-notch outing that defies strict categorizations when considering bridges between free improvisation and modern progressive jazz. It's a seamless incorporation of the best of many worlds." - Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz
This visionary group lead by saxophonist composer Rent Romus, pays tribute as well as bring to light, reinvent, deconstruct, and breathe life into the deeper realms of their collective body of memory. Performing original music, as well as contemporary local and international composers, they explore the influences and inspirations that make the art of jazz and improvisation timeless. Created in 1999 by saxophonist Rent Romus while on tour in Northern Europe, the group currently features a cast performers from the San Francicsco Bay Area.
Their latest album Rising Colossus released in 2016 "offers an incisive and often exhilarating glimpse at a scene that Romus has played an essential role in shaping. Life's Blood Ensemble dives headlong into a disparate array of compositions, opening and closing the album with very different works inspired by epic tales..." (Andrew Gilbert SF Chron)
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Life's Blood Septet performing "Rising Colossus Suite" @ Gold Lion Arts Sacramento, CA (left to right Joshua Marshall, Rent Romus, Mark Clifford, Heikki Koskinen
Timothy Orr, Max Judelson, Safa Shokrai) photo by Kenny Mann
Hailed by Downbeat as having "...a bold sound, unmistakeable sincerity and conviction", Rent Romus is a force spanning over 25 years of music production. He is the Founder and Executive Director for Outsound Presents producing over 80 shows a year for the contemporary and avant garde jazz communities as well as leading several groups from rolicking jazz to free abstract chamber music, to sound tracks for film and dance. His performance and recordings have included a wide range of artists including Thollem McDonas, Vinny Golia, John Tchicai, and Chico Freeman. The original members on the debut recording in 1999 feature Danish drummer Stefan Pasborg and bassist Jonas Westergaard.
Current Roster: Timothy Orr•drums/percussion Safa Shokrai•double bass Max Judelson•double bass Heikki "Mike" Koskinen•e-trumpet/recorder Joshua Marshall•tenor saxophone Mark Clifford•vibraphone
"[They] explore the subtle borders of style and element within jazz and improvisation." "Fresh innovative jazz...The expression is emotional but eloquent, smooth yet cerebral." - KFJC FM 89.7 Los Altos Hills
"The Best Jazz Albums of 2014" - Tom Hull, jazz critic
"Romus and the Life’s Blood Ensemble play jazz for the new age." - Jack Goodstein, Blogcritics
"...sinewy grooves...A Love Supreme's stratosphere..."- Tom Hull, jazz critic