Ron Bosse

Next Level

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Members of the Manhattan Jazz Police have often claimed that you can't be a legitimate jazz musician if you don't have a New York address, but anyone who seriously checked out Boston's jazz scene in the 1990s can tell you that such a claim is ludicrous and ignorant. Boston has been a hotbed of jazz activity for a long time, and in the 1990s, the city was full of talented improvisers, not only veterans like singer Paul Broadnax and saxman Leonard Hochman but also young artists who were graduating from the prestigious Berklee College of Music. One of those promising Berklee graduates was guitarist Ron Bosse, who made his recording debut as a leader with 1997's Next Level. This recording finds Bosse leading his quintet Pursuance, whose 1997 lineup also includes tenor saxman Dave Barraza, vibist Will Hudgins, bassist Christian F. Bausch, and drummer Rob Egan. (By the time Bosse and Pursuance recorded their second album, Emotion and Intellect, in 1998, Bausch had been replaced by Paul Beaudry.) While Next Level isn't as strong as Emotion and Intellect, it's a solid and respectable debut that finds Bosse doing most of the writing himself. Bosse and Pursuance don't play any overdone standards, and Bosse wrote everything on the album except Hudgins' "All Things Reconsidered." Although not perfect, Next Level showed Pursuance to be a cohesive unit and made the listener want to see how Bosse would develop.