Shipwreck 4

Featuring: Aaron Bennett | Darren Johnston | Lisa Mezzacappa | Frank Rosaly

Musicians on the recording

Aaron Bennett – tenor saxophone
Darren Johnston – trumpet
Lisa Mezzacappa – acoustic bass
Frank Rosaly – drums

Recording track list

1. The Storm We See, The Sea We Saw 5:12
2. Counted Like Flies 7:42
3. When Not Night 11:31
4. Everything’s Coming up Rosaly 3:40
5. Bloom 13:09
6. The Face Consented, At Last 6:21
NoBusiness Records NBCD 87
Release year - 2016

Credits and release info

  • All music by Bennett – Johnston – Mezzacappa – Rosaly
  • Recorded 10th January, 2015 by Myles Boisen and Jonah Strauss at Shipwreck Studios, Oakland, CA
  • Mixed by John Finkbeiner at New, Improved Recording, Oakland, CA
  • Mastered by Myles Boisen at the Headless Buddha Mastering Lab, Oakland, CA
  • Photos by Miles Boisen
  • Design by Oskaras Anosovas
  • Produced by Danas Mikailionis
  • Co-producer - Valerij Anosov

Reviews and articles


Ken Waxman - WHOLE NOTE

A more common expatriate path is that of Burlington-born trumpeter Darren Johnstonwho now lives in California’s Bay area. On Shipwreck 4, he’s united with three other local, but not native players – tenor saxophonist Aaron Bennett, bassist Lisa Mezzacappa and drummer Frank Rosaly – for a contemporary lesson in advanced improvisation. Like a poised high-wire act, the quartet’s talents are carefully balanced on the six tracks. Counted Like Flies for instance, mates a bluesy honk from Bennett with Johnston’s plunger snorts that colour the theme even as both players’ lines snake around one another. Meanwhile Rosaly’s snare bumps and Mezzacappa’s upward string sluices allow the trumpeter to whizz brass kisses from his mouthpiece by the finale. This adaptability is further highlighted on a track like Bloom whose final sequence involves the trumpeter playing hide-and-seek with himself with one chorus gently muted and one open horn. With the bassist spinning out a sympathetic ostinato underneath, the polyphonic piece evolves from an out-of-the-gate challenge from the saxophonist to a mellower response from Johnston plus a brisk mid-section devoted to the bassist scratching sul ponticello tones and the drummer clattering cymbals and rim shots. This sets up brass role-playing at the end. Bennett’s muscular but tempered tone plus Johnston’s slurry grace notes also allow the band to bring the proper dignity to the set’s ballads. Overall, any tension engendered by outside techniques such as tongue slaps, key percussion or freak notes is resolved with an application of sympathetic harmony.

Shipwreck 4 -

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