Concept albums can be risky. They demand to be judged by their structure; if that structure fails, the album suffers, regardless of its other aspects. That’s the case with trombonist Josh Roseman’s New Constellations: Live in Vienna, a collection of compelling, imaginative music sabotaged by its messy conceptual framework. Ostensibly the disc is a tribute to ska trombonist/innovator Don Drummond, but only contains two of his songs, an odd homage to the genre’s most revered composer. The originals and other covers (including the Rastafarian standard “Satta Massaganna” and two very different takes on the Beatles’ “I Should Have Known Better”) are mostly ska or spacey dub reggae, a style born after Drummond’s death.
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