James Rosocha Release First Solo Debut Album “Avalon”
By Valery Amador
Published on April 29, 2017
After over twenty years and nine albums as a sideman with fusion jazz guitarist BD Lenz, James steps out to release his first solo debut album “Avalon,” which features a variety of heavy hitting original compositions in the styles of funk, latin, and jazz. The album features nine tunes; eight of which feature James’ original tunes, his versatility as a bassist and composer, and his fluent soloing abilities.
Track one “Dysfunction Junction” is a funk journey through the stratosphere with tight, salient bass and drum grooves by both James and drummer Josh Orlando. The bass matches the keyboard’s melody of the tune and takes on charming melodies of its own. This tune features James’ harmonic and melodic approach to soloing as he sings along with horn-like phrasing. Guitarist Audric Jankauskas contributes his sophisticated, refined soloing abilities to this tune with class and precision.
Track two “Ariana” is a latin based composition with soaring melodies, syncopated percussion rhythms, and stunning piano solos. Pianist Steve Kramer doubles the bass melody in various sections of the tune while percussionist John Christie, vibraphonist Kendall Scott, and drummer Josh Orlando provide support for James’ melodic and harmonic improvisational ventures.
Track three “Turbulence Ahead” is a ferocious funk fusion piece with sharp, aggressive slap bass against Josh Orlando’s tight, syncopated drum grooves. The piece takes various twist and turns before soaring, doubled melodic lines progress to Audric Jankauskas’ adventurous, blazing synth solo.
Track four “By the Wayside” is a jazz waltz with tender melodies doubled by both the bass, and soprano saxophonist Geoff Mattoon. It contains melodic highlights and improvisational ventures by both James, Geoff Mattoon, and pianist Steve Kramer.
Track five “Lost” was written by old band mate-guitarist, vocalist Dave Haywood. It’s a funky, driving tune written about the subject of loss and one’s introspection during times of grief. Original band mates John Christie, (percussion) and Scott Jordon (drums) join keyboardist Kendall Scott for this funky rendition.
Track six “Avalon” is a melodic, tender solo bass piece performed on a Spector NS four string. Guitarist Audric Jankauskas joins in for melodic accompaniment.
Track seven “Rumpus” is an aggressive composition with fierce bass melodies and solo accompaniment by keyboardist Nick Rolfe (keys w/ Aretha Franklin) and Kevin Soffera (drummer w/ Greg Howe, Seether, and Breaking Benjamin). Kevin provides strong back beat while James and Nick improvise over the form and structure of this driving piece of music.
Track eight “Reverie” is a fusion tune that compliments its definition “a state of being pleasantly lost in one’s thoughts; a daydream or an instrumental piece suggesting a dreamy or musing state.” Guitarist Audric Jankauskas and keyboardist Thomas C. Alexander take thought provoking, elegant improvised solos over drummer Josh Orlando’s driving backbeats.
Track nine “Harlem River Drive” is a stirring, bass driven tune featuring melodic bass melodies against the heavy backbeats and rhythms of drummer Josh Orlando and percussionist John Christie. Tenor saxophonist Geoff Mattoon and guitarist BD Lenz provide fierce, blazing solos over the form of this final track of the album.
James Rosocha–bass, keyboards, compositions
Nick Rolfe–keyboards–track 6
Audric Jankauskaus–guitar–tracks 1,3,7,8 synth solo track 3
Josh Orlando–drums–tracks 1,2,3,4,8,9
Kevin Soffera–drums–track 6
Kendal Scott–keyboards–track–5, vibes track 2
Geoff Mattoon–saxophone–tracks 4,9
BD Lenz–guitar–track 9
John Christie–percussion–tracks 2,5,9
Steve Kramer–piano–tracks 2,4
Thomas C. Alexander–keyboards–track 8
Scott Jordon–drums–track 5
Dave Haywood–guitar, vocals–track 5
About James Rosocha
James holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He’s toured the United States and Europe as a long-time member of the BD Lenz group. Together they’ve released nine albums under the New York jazz label “Apria Records” and can heard on a number of television shows such as MTV, VH1, USA, A&E, Nickelodeon, Travel Network, Food Network, Spike TV, Comedy Central and a long host of others. A student of New Jersey’s late jazz legend/ guitarist Harry Leahey and Steve Morse Band/Dixie Dregs bassist Dave LaRue, James has been fortunate to share the stage with trumpet legend Randy Brecker, guitarist Hiram Bullock, drummer Joel Rosenblatt, saxophonist Jay Beckenstein, pianist Jeremy Wall of Spyro Gyro and Phish leader Trey Anastasio. He appears alongside Trey in the new Phish Companion book, which documents the band’s history and music. James endorses Spector Basses, Eden Electronics and Hipshot Detuners.