Pianist Ted Rosenthal has released 15 albums as a leader, among them 2014’s Rhapsody in Gershwin (Playscape) and 2010’s Impromptu (CD Baby). The former featured his arrangement of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” for a jazz trio; the latter demonstrated his reconceptualizing of classical themes for a jazz trio.
Albums like those led National Public Radio’s Kevin Whitehead to describe Rosenthal as having “a classical pianist’s reverence for the material and a jazz musician’s way of running off of it,” adding that because Rosenthal “is trained in and comfortable with jazz and classical music, he gets Gershwin’s sensibility.”
At 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 11, Rosenthal (photo above) will be leading a trio at the New Jersey Jazz Society’s Jersey Jazz LIVE! concert, and he’ll touch all the bases of themes he is known for and familiar with. “We’ll do some of my arrangements of Great American Songbook and jazz standards,” he said, “and a few originals, including from my jazz opera, Dear Erich. We’ll also do some of my arrangements of classical themes reimagined for jazz trio.” Joining him will be bassist Noriko Ueda and drummer Zach Adleman.
Rosenthal was the pianist in Gerry Mulligan’s final quartet and has performed or recorded with such other jazz giants as Bob Brookmeyer, Art Farmer, James Moody, and Phil Woods. When Rosenthal released a duo album with Brookmeyer in 2004 (One Night in Vermont: Planet Arts Records), AllAboutJazz’s Celeste Sunderland wrote: “Two people. That’s all you need to create a stunning album complete with all of jazz’s beloved nuances, all the explosive vitality of a live performance and all those stirring moments that remind you why you need it in your life . . . Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin… they’re all here. Rosenthal and Brookmeyer, distinguished composers and arrangers themselves, take classic melodies from these revered songwriters, and enliven them with glistening contrapuntal streams, gracious improvisations, and playful duels.”
In addition to playing frequently with Rosenthal, Ueda (left photo below) is the bassist in drummer Sherrie Maricle’s DIVA Jazz Orchestra and in Artemis, the all-female septet led by pianist Renee Rosnes. Ueda’s first album as a leader, Debut (Terashima Records: 2015), features Rosenthal on piano and Quincy Davis on drums. Originally from Hyogo, Japan, Ueda graduated from the Berklee College of Music in 1997 and relocated to New York. In 2002, she won the BMI Foundation’s Charlie Parker Jazz Composition prize for her original big band piece, “Castle in the North”.
Adleman (photo right below) studied and performed with Jazz House Kids and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Orchestra while growing up in Montclair, NJ. He received his Bachelor’s Degree for Jazz Performance at Michigan State University in 2019 and his Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance at the Juilliard School in 2021. Adleman was the percussionist on saxophonist Ted Nash’s 2017 Motema album, Presidential Suite: Eight Variations on Freedom, which won a Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. While at Michigan State, Adleman performed on trombonist Michael Dease’s 2018 Posi-Tone album, Reaching Out.
The Ted Rosenthal Trio will be preceded by a Rising Star Opening Act featuring a small ensemble from the Jazz Studies Program at Montclair State’s John J. Cali School of Music. The ensemble members are: Will Schetelich, trumpet, Scotch Plains, NJ; Ryan Huston, tenor saxophone, Toms River, NJ; Lorna Morales, piano: Elizabeth, NJ; Felipe Orozco, bass, Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica/Orange, NJ; and Matt Vera-Corcoran, drums: Pompton Lakes, NJ.
The Madison Community Arts Center is located at 10 Kings Road in Madison, NJ. Admission to this event will be $10 for members and $15 for non-members, payable at the door with cash or credit card. There will be light refreshments for purchase.
Funding for Jersey Jazz LIVE! has been made possible, in part, by funds from Morris Arts through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/ Department of State, a partner agency of The National Endowment for the Arts.
TED ROSENTHAL PHOTO BY CATHY LILLIAN
ZACH ADLEMAN PHOTO BY JOY GLENN