John Tchicai with Rent Romus’ Lords of Outland | Adapt… or Die! | Edgetone Records

John Tchicai – tenor saxophone | Rent Romus – alto & soprano saxophones (separately & simultaneously), voice | Jon Birdsong – sousaphone, conch shell | Dave Michaly – drums

Excecutive Producer – Psiman. Producer – The CAT man. Creative Direction – Rent Romus. Marketing & Distribution – Jazzheads Records Inc. Radio Promotion – Gert’Rude music marketing. Graphic Design – Rent Romus, Ron Pelletier. Technical Support – Ron Pelletier. Art Graphics – Vincent Rezini. Studio Recording – Ben Leinbach, Spark Studios, Emeryville CA 12/17/96. Live Recording – Robert Berenson, Jason Weitzman, ODC/SF Theater, San Francisco, CA 2/1/97. Mastered by Andrew Scott, Rent Romus. Photos – Ron Pelletier, cover & where indicated, email – pelletie@gallery41.com – WEB site – http:\www.gallery41.com James Adams, where indicated, email – jadams@excltisive-ent.com – WEB site http:\www.gallery41.com | Manufactured – Olde West Recordings, San Francisco CA, 415-647-2715 Performance Publicity – Marcy Straw, Creative Musical Alternatives.

Many thanks to* Dave, Linda &Averee Repke, John Tchicai, Jon Birdsong, Dave Mihaly, Randy Klein, Tony Mills, Ben Leinbach, Sam Prestianni, Ron Pelletier, Chris White, Jazz In Flight, Robert Berenson, Holly Charlton, Liz Roman, Alleluia Panis, all our loyal wacked out fans and friends, the musicians who have and continue to give their lives to inspire us, and Rent’s cat.

Tracklist: 1. March of the Dali’s 2. Cherry Vanilla 3. Descent of the Avatar 4. Dr. Ke’s I 5. Aces for Albert 6. Farewell Sweet & Crazy 7. Gravity 8. Chartreuse 9. So When 10. Raven’s Gate

Rent Romus

extends his ethos “to continually be on the path for something new” with the self-explanatory Adapt… or Die!. This recording revamps the Lords of Outland insto a more deviant configuration joined by drummer Dave Mihaly and sousaphonist Jon Birdsong. This project is also blessed with the immense presence of master tenor saxist John Tchicai. The shift in instrumentation provides a punchier, more expansive format for Romus’ self-proclaimed “Nordic Viking Jazz” or “Bull in China Shop” attitude toward improv. With a post-grunge audacity, Romus kicks solos that he says come “straight from the groin” — all of which bodes well for this sonic explorer.

Saxophonist-composer Rent Romus unleashed his Lords of Outland concept last year with You ‘II Never Be The Same, a boisterous set of largely modal, groove-based, pushing-for-the-cosmos jams for traditional quartet (sax, trumpet, bass, drums). He extends his ethos “to continually be on the path for something new” with the self-explanatory Adapt… or DIE! This latest disc revamps the Lords into a more deviant configuration (sax, sousaphone, drums) and on half the runes adds veteran tenor saxist John Tchicai. The shift in instrumentation provides a punchier, more expansive format for Romus’ self-proclaimed “Nordic Viking Jazz” or “Bull in a China Shop” attitude toward improv. With a post-grunge audacity, the 29-year-old artist kicks solos that he says come “straight from the groin.” Much of the album pits fiery horns against solid but flexible tuba/traps grooves. The bookend tracks – “March of the Dali’s” (for the painter not the monk) and “Raven’s Gate” (the theme song of Romus’ biannual “Jazz & E.A. Poe” showcase) – illustrate the range of compositions, from stone-chilly frolic to dark-edged gravity. On runes like “Descent of the Avatar” and “Dr. Ke’s T” (the latter of which finds Romus blowing dual reeds at once, with poise and panache not unlike Rahsaan Roland Kirk), the leader evokes a stout tonal resonance up and down the register. The crosstown traffic on “Descent” alludes to the multi-horn tumult of the ROVA Sax Quartet, and the lead on “Dr.” demonstrates the youthful saxophonist’s maturity as an increasingly melodic yet still ferocious improviser – all of which bodes well for this emerging ja/z explorer. — Sam Prestianni, Jazziz “Outside/In” columnist

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