Blue Earth County
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Kelly Rossum, trumpet; Annie Stevens, Marimba; Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, electric bass; J.T. Bates, drums; Christopher Cook, electronics; Eldon Sully, banjo and guitar
Release date : Apr. 29, 2016
Label : 612 Sides
  1. Sunrise Over Blue Earth County
  2. Bubble Machine
  3. May Babies
  4. Saturday Morning Radio
  5. Nikolina
  6. Big Tree by the Old Graveyard
  7. Queen Lady's Slipper
  8. Big Wheel Generation
  9. Caves and Kisses
  10. Zen Harvest



“[Blue Earth County] situates itself within a progressive and relevant section of the jazz cannon, acknowledging rhythmic origins of non-western evolution, embracing the blues, gospel, echoes of Appalachia, while subtly interweaving timbral layers of electronics and tastefully executed extended techniques. This culminates in a musical statement of ‘new Americana’; deftly executed with heartfelt immediacy.”

Stephanie Richards, Vice President, Festival of New Trumpet Music (NYC)


“The integration of electric texture is engaging as is the textural interaction between [Rossum} and drummer JT Bates. Compositionally speaking, the music comes off as honest and deeply melodic. Regarding the trumpet playing and improvisation, the connection to the tradition is deep and at time conjurers masters Snooky Young and Thad Jones while conguently keeping a foot in the modern era with nods to Lester Bowie (especially his work with the Art Ensemble of Chicago) and the later work of Don Cherry. […] Blue Earth County slots into a special category; one that pushes the boundaries of our music.”

Paul Tynan, co-leader of Bicoastal Collective


“After the first listen to Blue Earth County I became immediately aware of the recording’s unity, particularly regarding its tone. Despite the varied compositions and intents, the project reveals an overall vision with purpose rather than a collection of tracks. Rossum’s stellar writing and playing serve a conception that defies expectations rather than conforming to them; a refreshing approach to the balance between the written and spontaneous. […] Blue Earth County deserves repeated listening from a wide audience and if indicative of Rossum’s larger creative output, provides a lovely snapshot of a forward-looking, collaborative musician.”

Barry Long, Jazz Musician and Chair, Department of Music, Bucknell University


“Each track is a unique blend of different styles and genres that is all held together by Rossum’s improvisational and compositional vision. Not only did he draw upon many different musical styles to create this recording, he also freely used many different studio and production techniques. […] The broad range of skills showcased here – musical and technical – could be called ‘21st Century Skills’ for the musician. The musical world changes on a daily basis, and the luxury of focusing on a single element of one’s career is long gone. Students today need access to teachers who not only possess these skills, but also practice and create with them on a regular basis. Rossum’s scholarship, experience, and teaching are invaluable assets […] to the larger world of jazz and music education.”

Dean Sorenson, Jazz Composer and Educator