The Rosenthals Bring Their Bluegrass Fusion to the Elm City

Jul 10, 2014

Roots-music master Phil Rosenthal and his son, jazz trumpeter Daniel Rosenthal, gave a unique concert on Wednesday night in New Haven.

Guilford native Phil Rosenthal said he fell in love with bluegrass music at an early age while hanging out at Cutler's record store in New Haven. "I saw one group where one guy was holding the banjo," he said. "Another fellow had the guitar, and someone had the bass fiddle, and a mandolin and a fiddle, and it turned out to be a classic album by Lester Flatts and Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys -- my idea of the finest band ever."

Phil Rosenthal rose to prominence in the 1980s as lead singer of the influential bluegrass band The Seldom Scene. For the last two years, he and his son, Boston-based Jazz trumpeter Daniel Rosenthal, have forged a unique musical fusion with their banjo and trumpet. Phil Rosenthal said that surprisingly, the two instruments compliment each other. "The banjo and trumpet -- you know, the banjo, a lot of it is metal, a plastic head over metal," he said. "The trumpet, the metal sound -- there is sort of something, harmonically, where they blend together. I think it sounds great."