". . . one of the most original and engaging jazz groups to come out of the Bay Area in years."
-- East Bay Express
The Bob Roden Quintet
Together since 2017, Berkeley's Bob Roden Quintet has become a mainstay on the East Bay jazz scene, combining a spirit of playful exploration with a commitment to the living and vibrant tradition of straight-up, straight-ahead jazz.
BRQ’s eclectic repertoire runs the gamut from classic jazz tunes to compelling original compositions and unique jazz arrangements of works drawn from sources as unexpected as Frank Zappa and Johnny Rivers. The group has performed extensively at jazz venues around the Bay Area, and played feature sets at the 2019 and 2021 Piedmont Jazz Festivals. It is currently preparing to record its first CD.
The group’s adventurous approach reflects the unusual breadth of its musical background. Leader and trombonist/vocalist Bob Roden toured as a member of the award-winning band Sidro’s Armada, sharing the bill with artists as diverse as Stan Getz, Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, Sam Butera and Kenny Rogers, to name just a few. His 2000 children’s album “Mammals Eat Coconuts” remains a perpetual favorite in that genre.
Saxophonist Ron Jackson, a music graduate of Alabama A&M University, is a recording artist in his own right; his CD “Love is a Crazy Game” is available on CD Baby.
Pianist Mark Rossi played for years on the East Coast with jazz and R&B bands. Most notably, he fronted a band in a jazz series that included many of Boston’s jazz luminaries. Also a recording artist, he reached the national indie charts not long ago with his crossover recording “B.H.F.J.”
Bassist Jamie Dowd has played with many Bay Area jazz groups and hosts a weekly private jam session that attracts some of the area’s finest players. He is also the principal bassist for the Albany Jazz Band.
Drummer Dave Casini, a music graduate of Cal State Hayward, has performed many times in local jazz venues and festivals. He is also an accomplished vibes player and composer and has recorded several CDs with his own groups.
BRQ has yet to be featured on the covers of DownBeat, JazzTimes, The New York City Jazz Record, Hot House or Coda magazines, among many others. Similarly, BRQ cannot presently claim to have topped the "Jazz Group" category in DownBeat's Critics Poll, or to have been voted "Jazz Band of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association. One can only assume these things are just a matter of time.
". . . a tight eclectic set. . . Roden’s trombone and Jackson’s sax form the focus of the band’s lyricism with the instruments, as needed, soloing, harmonizing or calling and responding. Rossi’s piano gave symphonic depth to the group’s sound with rich chord voicings and a driving Bud Powell style."
-- Piedmont Press
BRQ closes the show with Bob's original up-tempo blues tune.