Four years in the making, Roseland pushes the boundaries of contemporary jazz by embracing rock, reggae, and folk, along with their contemporary jazz influences. Greg Carmichael and his nylon-string acoustic guitar work are front and center with the opening "Marrakesh," also featuring Ricky Peterson on Hammond organ. Peterson's organ continues with the snappy "One For Shorty," adding nice texture to a release that is as far from the smooth jazz norm as you can get. With a more pronounced horn section and the addition of even more electric guitar from Miles Gilderdale, Roseland begins to separate from the pack by lending itself more to the original idea of fusion influences, while exploring a more warm and open sound, without a need for the programming or other gimmicks that imitators continue to use today.
Roseland was recorded in Gilderdale's newly constructed home studio, but it is his electric guitar edge on tunes such as "Marcus" that show the musical development and shifting direction of the band without ever losing an originality that has attracted such a worldwide fan base. The reggae-flavored "Ebor Sound System" includes some captivating synthesized guitar sounds, and this world music infusion continues with "Sand on Her Toes," where Gilderdale again plugs in for that extra edge in pushing the sound beyond the expected.
"Stealing Hearts" leans to the country side, with Frank Mizen's pedal steel, and the authenticity of the country sound, along with the more straight-ahead "Right Place—Wrong Time," makes Roseland a diverse and highly entertaining release.
This is organic, eclectic contemporary fusion that weaves a sonic tapestry as well any Acoustic Alchemy release of the past quarter century.