Primary Instrument: Band/orchestra
Cosmologic traverses the broad terrain of creative jazz and improvised music, integrating high-energy playing, intense introspection, rich grooves, open textures, and collective alchemy. Central to the group's sound is a commitment to developing challenging and original compositions. While profoundly dedicated to improvisation, Cosmologic also performs complex pieces that are composed by an individual member and then transformed through extensive group work. This process often leads the quartet into complex musical landscapes, while drawing on the individual strengths of each member. With nearly a decade of experience together, Cosmologic continues to extend their repertoire of original music, in an ongoing search for new ideas. Cosmologic History
Cosmologic was founded as a collective quartet in 1999, and still consists of the original four musicians. The group initially incorporated interpretations of music by Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane and other artists into their performances, but quickly moved towards playing only original compositions by its members.
In the fall of 1999, Cosmologic used a weekly engagement at the Galoka Jazz Scene in La Jolla, California to develop its repertoire and sound. After half a year of weekly concerts to enthusiastic audiences at Galoka, Cosmologic recorded its first live album there, Staring at the Sun (2000), featuring all original compositions. The CD release concert at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library in La Jolla featured a guest appearance by renowned trombonist George Lewis.
In 2002, Cosmologic's West Coast tour culminated in a live CD recording at Trummerflora's Rubble on Spruce series at Spruce Street Forum in San Diego. This was released as the group's second album, Syntaxis (2002).
In September of 2005, Cosmologic released III, their third album of all original compositions, featuring special guest appearances by guitarist Al Scholl. It included a live performance at the Zeitgeist series (Mat Bevel Institute) in Tucson, Arizona, as well as studio recordings made in Termite Studios in San Marcos, California.
Fall 2005 also marked Cosmologic's first tour of the Northeast US and Ontario, including an appearance at the Guelph Jazz Festival. And in Spring 2007, the quartet did their first European tour, performing in Belgium and the Netherlands.
In December of 2007, Cosmologic recorded a fourth album of all original material, titled Eyes in the Back of My Head, which will be released on Cuneiform Records in May, 2008.
Reedist, composer and scholar Jason Robinson divides his time between performing, research and teaching. In 1998, Robinson founded Circumvention Music, an artist-run independent record label dedicated to the support and distribution of improvised musics. He has performed/recorded with Peter Kowald, George Lewis, Anthony Davis, Eugene Chadbourne, Earl Howard, Emily Hay, Jeff Kaiser, Eek a Mouse, Bertram Turetzky, Mel Graves, Marco Eneidi, Mike Wofford, Philip Gelb, J.D. Parran, Gerry Hemingway, Contemporary Jazz Orchestra (at Pearl's, San Francisco), the La Jolla Symphony, SONOR (among others), as well as theater-oriented groups such as the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the New Pickle Circus. Robinson is also a published author and teaches regularly at the University of California (Irvine and San Diego campuses). He holds a Ph.D. in Music. Robinson's 2002 release Tandem (Accretions Records) was a 2002 critic's pick in JazzTimes Magazine. He recently received a Grammy nomination for his performance on Toots and the Maytals’ latest release, Light Your Light (2007/Fantasy). Robinson is the founder and artistic director of Circumvention Music and a member of the San Diego-based Trummerflora Collective.
Michael Dessen (trombone) is a composer-improviser who performs on the slide trombone and computer. Drawing on experience across a wide range of contemporary forms, he creates his own unique blend of music and collaborates with some of today's most exciting innovators. In addition to the collectively-run Cosmologic quartet, his other main working ensemble is the Michael Dessen Trio, in which he performs on trombone and laptop, along with Tyshawn Sorey on drums and Christopher Tordini on bass. This trio's first album, Between Shadow and Space, will be released in 2008 by Clean Feed Records, following Dessen's 2007 leader debut, Lineal, which featured Mark Dresser, Susie Ibarra, Vijay Iyer, Terry Jenoure and others performing his acoustic compositions. He has also participated in collaborative projects involving interactive, multimedia and telematic (distance/internet) technologies, and is completing a solo album of trombone and live electronics. In addition to studies with Yusef Lateef, George Lewis and Anthony Davis, and collaborations and mentorships with many other renowned artists, Dessen also draws on extensive freelance experience in diverse contexts, from avant-garde new music ensembles to salsa bands. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the University of California, San Diego, where he received a Ph.D. in Critical Studies and Experimental Practices from the Music Department. Equally important, Dessen has been schooled by numerous musicians outside of academia. He currently teaches at the University of California, Irvine, where he is on the core faculty of an innovative new graduate music program titled Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology.
Scott Walton has performed with luminaries from across the stylistic spectrum of jazz and improvised music. Active projects as a bassist include Cosmologic, the Isbin/Gauthier/Walton trio, the Vinny Golia Quintet, and Nathan Hubbard’s Everything After, with recent performances in Belgium, Holland, and Poland. As a pianist he has commissioned and premiered works by numerous composers, has collaborated in web-networked multimedia performances, and has a particular interest in works for piano and mixed-media. Walton is featured on recent CD releases by Ibsin/Gauthier/Walton (Venice Suite), Harris Eisenstadt (All Seeing Eye), and the Vinny Golia Quintet (One, Three, Two). 2008 releases include new CDs with Cosmologic, and the Alex Cline Ensemble. He is a member of the San Diego-based Trummerflora Collective.
Percussionist/Composer/Instrument Builder Nathan Hubbard works in many different fields, but in general his work shows a decided interest in exploring the possibilities of sound and embracing the passing of time. This interest in sound can be seen in everything from his extended sound language as an improvisor to his homemade and found instruments. The different rates of passing time become relevant as both a rhythmic impetus and defining element in his compositions and their changing definitions of form, shape and outcome. Musically his explorations range from solo improvisations through small group collaborations to large scale compositions for his twenty-six member large ensemble, Skeleton Key Orchestra. As a composer his works range from solo pieces to medium scale works for a variety of ensembles, works for tape, electronics and acoustics instruments, large works for orchestras, creative orchestras and traditional big bands as well as pieces involving text, voice and other mediums. In the last several years Hubbard has been more involved with musical situations incorporating acoustics, enviroments and field recordings. His work as an artist can be seen on several of his CD covers and his work as an engineer and producer can be heard on almost all of his recordings. His current projects include solo performances, collaborations with Curtis Glatter (the Glatter/Hubbard Duo), ARC Trio, and Cosmologic, as well as leading his own chamber quintet (Nathan Hubbard/Everything After), octet (Nathan Hubbard Octet) and the large ensemble Nathan Hubbard Skeleton Key Orchestra. In addition to all this work, Hubbard has performed and/or recorded with artists such as Martin Blume, David Borgo, Alex Cline, Anthony Davis, Brad Dutz, Harris Eisenstadt, Justin Grinnell, Vinny Golia, Phillip Greenlief, Rick Helzer, Mike Keneally, Steuart Liebig, George Lewis, Doug Lunn, Noah Phillips, Garth Powell, Tim Root, Jim Ryan, Moe! Staiano, GE Stinson, Kris Tiner, Bertram Turetzky, Phillip Wachsmann and Clay Walker. Hubbard is a member of the Trummerflora Collective.
...a gem of crisp ensemble-playing and finely calibrated improvisations... --San Diego Union Tribune
The most exhilarating band performance of the entire five days [of the Guelph Jazz Festival] --Musicworks
Cosmologic made an impact with their hard hitting attack. --Cadence