I had a chance to catch tenor saxist Daniel Rotem’s concert at the Blue Whale when he made this recording, and judging by the music on this two disc set, I’m really sorry I missed it. Rotem has a gorgeous fog of a tone, evoking images of vintage Ben Webster with his gorgeous gasp, and he teams it up with a creative mix as he employs violinist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, pianist Miro Sprague, bassist Alex Boneham, drummer Roberto Giaquinto and guest guitarist Jeff Parker and vocalist Erin Bentlage for a collection of rich impressions.
The melding of thick tenor sax with yearning 5 string violin works extraordinarily well, creating long shadows that gracefully turn into a driving pulse on “Conversation of Letting Go” or bringing in some melodic piano for a folksy “Loog Again.” The team gets peppy on “Push Through” and Rotem solemnly sights on “Between Lives.” Bentlage’s voice brings in an extra ethereal texture on the graceful “Serenading the Future” as well as the moody “Good News” with Rotem on the soprano. Soft winds blow with Parker’s guitar veering around the violin and misty sax on the bluesy “Different But The Same,” with the entire evening feeling like a collection of rich oil colors by El Greco. Highly rewarding.