Jay Rosen (drummer)

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Jay Rosen
Born (1961-11-20) November 20, 1961 (age 55)
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Origin Long Island, New York
Genres Jazz
Instruments Drum kit, percussion instruments
Labels CIMP, Cadence Jazz
Associated acts
Website jay-rosen.com

Jay Rosen (born November 20, 1961, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania[1][2]) is an American jazz drummer. Rosen is a member of Trio X with trumpeter/saxophonist Joe McPhee and double bassist Dominic Duval, and performs in Cosmosomatics with saxophonist Sonny Simmons.

At age 10, Rosen became interested in jazz drumming after seeing Tony Williams perform with Sonny Rollins.[1] He took lessons from Tracy Alexander, son of Mousey Alexander (with an occasional lesson from the elder Alexander).[1] Later, he would briefly study with Barry Altschul.[1]

Around age 18, Rosen became a professional musician, and played in a variety of settings, such as studio work, weddings and cocktail lounges, as well as in various musical styles, including rock and roll, rhythm and blues, country, jazz, and Brazilian music.[1] His recording career in improvised music began in the mid-1990s, when he recorded Split Personality (GM Records) with Mark Whitecage and Dominic Duval.[1] He began an association with the CIMP label in 1996,[1] and as of April 2011 has appeared on at least fifty CIMP albums (as well as seven albums from the related Cadence Jazz Records).[3][4] Todd Jenkins describes Rosen and Duval as the "house rhythm section" for CIMP, given the number of recordings on which they have jointly appeared.[5]:231

Since 1998, Rosen has performed with Joe McPhee and Dominic Duval in Trio X.[5]:360[6] In 2000, Rosen joined Cosmosomatics, a quartet including saxophonists Sonny Simmons and Michael Marcus and bassist William Parker.[7]:114

Rosen describes himself as "a musician who plays percussion" rather than "'just a drummer.'"[1] He uses a set of small cymbals that he approaches "like a string player, or a reed player," and his drum kit includes objects such as a boat propeller and a set of organ pipes that he activates with foot-driven bellows.[1]

While Rosen is associated with free improvisation, he questions whether the music he plays is "free:"

"While 'free music' indicates that you're free to play whatever you want to play and you're not following chord progressions, and there's no time, there's no this, no that…. The way I've been playing free music, with my constituents, doesn't really follow those guidelines. When we play, it's very well put together, in actuality. We're not just blowing to blow; there's listening going on, there's concerted effort at construction and organization, at putting things together — at minute levels — that hardly go on in 'free music' anymore."[1]


With Joe McPhee

  With Michael Marcus
    Blue Reality  Soul Note 121383

With Steve Swell


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Nai, Larry (April 2002). "Jay Rosen – Interview". Cadence Magazine. Redwood, NY: Cadnor Ltd. 28 (4): 5–13. ISSN 0162-6973. 
  2. ^ "Jay Rosen - Bio". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  3. ^ "Albums Featuring - Jay Rosen". Cimprecords.com. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Albums Featuring - Jay Rosen". Cadencejazzrecords.com. Retrieved April 5, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Jenkins, Todd S. Free jazz and free improvisation: an encyclopedia. 2, K-Z. Westport, CT: Greenwood. ISBN 978-0-313-33314-9. Retrieved April 8, 2011. 
  6. ^ Rusch, Robert D. (1998). The Watermelon Suite (CD insert). Trio X. Redwood, NY: CIMP. CIMP 183. Retrieved April 8, 2011. 
  7. ^ Jenkins, Todd S. Free jazz and free improvisation: an encyclopedia. 1, A-J. Westport, CT: Greenwood. ISBN 978-0-313-29881-3.