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Burning Ghosts (Giddens / McLendon / Rosenboom / Vossler): Reclamation (Tzadik)

Burning Ghost is the West Coast rock influenced improvising quartet of Daniel Rosenboom on trumpet, guitarist Jake Vossler, Richard Giddens on double bass, and Aaron McLendon on drums, in a fiery album of heavy playing that borrows from jazz and metal rock forms, with ominious political overtones in their titles while showing articulate and impressive playing skill.

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product information:

UPC: 702397781523

Label: Tzadik
Catalog ID: CD-TZA-7815
Squidco Product Code: 24836

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Kingsize Sound, in Los Angeles, California, in December 2016, by Theo Karon.


Richard Giddens-double bass

Aaron McLendon-drums

Daniel Rosenboom-trumpet, flugelhorn

Jake Vossler-guitar, baritone guitar

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Artist Biographies:

Bassist Richard Giddens, born in Fresno, CA and studying jazz bass at the New School, performing in LA and NY. He is a member of Gavin Templeton Trio, The Chapin Sisters, has performed with Gerry Gibbs, and is a member of Burning Ghosts.

-Squidco 1/14/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Born in Santa Barbara, California, Aaron McLendon, has never been one to sit still. He has toured the world, lived in New York City & Los Angeles, and has continued to refine his crafts of drumming and studio production.

Raised by musician parents, Aaron developed a keen sense of the art form as a child. From an early age, he was exposed to Western Classical music, 60's/70's rock & soul, jazz, and the pop world of the 1980's. Such eclecticism would later come to shape his career.

After four years of piano lessons, Aaron began playing drums at the age of thirteen, studying every Sunday at Mike's Drum Shop with Barry Birmingham.

During high school, he learned drum set technique & all styles of music with the renowned Craig Thatcher (Kenny Loggins, Christopher Cross), who gave him the inspiration to become a professional musician. High school band director, Isaac Jenkins, taught him not only how to function as drummer in a band, but how to be a musician first. Emanuel 'Bucket' Baker (Michael Jackson, Erykah Badu, Macy Gray) taught him of the importance of time, groove, and 'pocket' in music.

At William Patterson University, McLendon studied with the late James Williams, Harold Mayburn, Horace Arnold, and drummer John Riley (author of the influential books, The Art of Bop Drumming & Beyond Bop Drumming). Freshmen classmates included Mark Guiliana, Sam Barsh and Tyshawn Sorey. Beyond campus, McLendon immersed himself in the vibrant Downtown New York music scene, frequenting such venues as Tonic and The Knitting Factory.

Upon transferring to California Institute of the Arts, Aaron focused on jazz drums, studio production, Western classical composition, and the unique West African program. His educators at CalArts included Alfred & Kobla Ladzekpo, Joe LaBarbara, Aaron Serfaty, David Roitstein, Charlie Haden, Darek Oles, Larry Koonse, Vinny Golia, Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, and Macedonian guitarist Miroslav Tadic.

After receiving his Master of Fine Arts Degree from CalArts, McLendon remained in Los Angeles, where he performed with such diverse artists as funk icon George Clinton, singer Angelo Moore (of Fishbone), Terrence Howard, Kamasi Washington, Sean Kingston, Christian Scott, Billy Childs, Eldar Djangirov, Taylor Eigsti, Alan Pasqua, Ben Wendel, Tigran Hamasyan, Miles Mosley, Josh Nelson, and Ambrose Akinmusire, amongst many others.

For over five years, McLendon also resided in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan. During that tenure, he performed with Kurt Elling, Red Baraat, Ben Monder, Gretchen Parlato, Becca Stevens, Gerald Clayton, Bump3, Sam Barsh, Mamiko Kitaura, Nir Feldner, The East/West Quintet, and the chamber-rock group Build, amongst others. Performance venues included Carnegie Hall, The Plaza Hotel, Birdland, Blue Note, Smalls, 55 Bar, The Zinc Bar, The Jazz Standard, Dizzy's, BB King's, S.O.B's, and many more.

Currently based in Los Angeles, McLendon's endeavors include partnerships in the music production teams the CURRNCY & HairTrigger Productions, shows and recordings with avant-activist group Burning Ghosts, Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox, Miles Mosley, The West Coast Get Down, Sarah Reich's Tap Music Project, The Taylor Eigsti Trio, The Matthew Yeakley Group (every Monday at The Falls Lounge), as well as freelancing with the finest talents in music today."

-Aaron McLendon Website (

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"Daniel Aaron Rosenboom (b. 5/7/1982) is a creative and prolific trumpet artist, composer, producer, and Los Angeles studio musician. Hailed as a "phenomenon" by the Los Angeles Times, he has been recognized with grants and awards from ASCAP, the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music, the American Composers Forum, and the Meet the Composer foundation, and has been featured on renowned stages and festivals around the world, from the Monterey Jazz Festival to Madison Square Garden, the Hammersmith Apollo, and the Hollywood Bowl.

Rosenboom has released many full-length albums under his own name. His most recent album, Book of Storms, was released on Orenda Records in December of 2015. In 2015, he launched a new quartet project, Burning Ghosts, who debuted in 2016 and recently released their second album on John Zorn's iconic Tzadik Records. Additionally, he has released three full-length albums with his Balkan-inspired band PLOTZ!, five full-length albums with his spontaneous jazz-rock group DR. MiNT, and has appeared as a featured collaborator on albums by Vinny Golia, Anthony Wilson, Harris Eisenstadt, Kubilay Üner, the Jon Armstrong Jazz Orchestra, Jose Gurria-Cardenas's Gurrisonic Orchestra, Trevor Anderies, Dorian Wood, David Rosenboom, RootSystem, Geoff Gallegos's NineNet, Killsonic, Got Monk?, Orkestar Mézé, and the Industrial Jazz Group.

Daniel plays regularly with The Daniel Rosenboom Quintet, Burning Ghosts, PLOTZ!, and the Modern Brass Quintet, and has twice toured the world as multi-platinum pop singer Josh Groban's trumpet soloist. He has appeared as a featured artist and collaborator on such renowned international festivals as the Monterey, Angel City, Saalfelden and Hague Jazz Festivals, and at many more prestigious stages and institutions. Daniel also records for motion pictures, television, and video games, and can be heard on such notable titles as Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, The BFG, X-Men: Apocalypse, The Good Dinosaur, Goosebumps, Creed, Godzilla, Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Minions and Despicable Me 2, The Lone Ranger, A Million Ways to Die in the West, The Maze Runner, Big Hero 6 and many more. As a classical free-lance musician and noted interpreter of modern and avant-garde music, he has performed with some of the elite groups and musicians in Los Angeles, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Monday Evening Concerts, Southwest Chamber Music, the Long Beach Opera, and many others.

In January of 2014, he founded the independent record label, Orenda Records, in an effort to promote his community of like-minded musicians in Los Angeles and beyond."

-Daniel Rosenboom Website (

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Jake Vossler is a guitarist known for his work with trumpeter Daniel Rosenboom, with albums on Nine Winds Records and New World Records, and is a member of Burning Ghost

-Squidco 1/14/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:

1. FTOF 8:00

2. Harbinger 5:45

3. The War Machine 6:08

4. Radicals 7:02

5. Betrayal 5:33

6. Gaslight 2:21

7. Catalyst 4:21

8. Zero Hour 2:43

9. Revolution 2:25
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"A politically motivated quartet at the forefront of the jazz-metal underground featuring four of the most acclaimed musicians in the LA experimental music scene. Playing scorching instrumentals that touch on heavy metal and jazz, the music is uncompromising and intense, filled with precise rhythmic complexity and textural power. Their first release on Tzadik is an incendiary blockbuster and is destined to become an instant classic!"-Tzadik

"Last year Daniel Rosenboom launched on record a combustible quartet that serves to let out improvisational primal screams against the injustices of the world. The self-titled Burning Ghosts album brought social activism back to jazz by way of metal, never uttering a lyric but relying on pure passion in the calamitous music the trumpeter Rosenboom made with guitarist Jake Vossler, bassist Richard Giddens and Aaron McLendon on drums.

Reclamation, coming out June 30, 2017 on John Zorn's Tzadik label, continues the sonic struggle with perhaps a greater sense of purpose since a very divisive election had occurred in the interim. Though the rise of Trump isn't explicitly brought up on this latest set, the battle cries for progressives have grown louder because of it, putting more relevance into Rosenboom & Co.'s mission. Matter of fact, the song titles are peppered with words associated with turmoil, deception, anger and call to action: "Radicals," "Betrayal," "Zero Hour," and "Revolution" (no, not the Beatles song; all of these tunes were penned by Rosenboom and Vossler).

The beginning of this album nearly belies that metal/jazz" description. "FTOF" is for the first ninety seconds a drums/trumpet-only conversation that's more your father's improv jazz jam, until Vossler's distorted guitar crashes the party. Rosenboom and McLendon initially ignore him but little by little, get drawn into the dark side and by midway through, all four dudes are thrashin'. Vossler's solo positively slashes and burns, working up to a Sonny Sharrock freakout. It didn't take long for Burning Ghosts to establish a straight, unbroken line between two music forms often thought to be on opposite sides of the spectrum.

Vossler and Rosenboom team up to make the opening statement on "Harbinger," and the presence of the trumpet mute only serves to amp up the urgency in Rosenboom's cry. Vossler's power chords then begin to dominate and when he's done, a trace of crackling fuzz is all that's left in the wake. "The War Machine" isn't the relentless frontal assault that the title implies, instead riding on an arc that is subdued until it rises up for the chorus.

A lot of the yin and yang inherent in this quartet can be found on "Radicals", e.g., the lyrical, light tone of Rosenboom's trumpet and the acoustic bass stylings of Giddens versus the metallic stirrings of Vossler and McLendon. But eventually, everyone locks into a groove that serves as a launch pad for a full band frenzy.

A palpable sense of foreboding is heard at the start of "Betrayal," Vossler and Rosenboom once again doubling up on dark lines. Out of that a funky stride emerges, and Rosenboom begins a choice discourse on his horn. The surprising introduction of a swing groove signals the end of that track and the beginning of "Gaslight," a two-minute, unaccompanied spotlight for Giddens that in turn segues right into the explosive "Catalyst." "Zero Hour" is the eerily quiet aftermath; the only sound rising above the uneasy stillness is Rosenboom's muted wails. The band regains its adrenaline on "Revolution," paced by a confident, triumphant open trumpet and Vossler putting an exclamation point on it with heavy riffs.

True to the stated purpose of Burning Ghosts, Reclamation is another piercing protest document without words. But regardless of what your politics might be, there's much to relish here as long as you appreciate raw passion delivered through accomplished musicianship and a fearless attitude."-S. Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews

Get additional information at Something Else!
Related Categories of Interest:

Rock and Related
Improvised Rock
Improvised Music
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
Quartet Recordings
New in Rock Forms

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