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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dennis Gonzalez - Joao Paulo: So Soft Yet

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Recorded in Portugal, Texas trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez and Portuguese keyboardist Joao Paulo offer a temperate pastoral setting, grounded on the duo's intake of regional sensibilities, ethnocentricities and emotive responses to cultural and spiritual components. With the effective use of space acting as a third instrument, the duo strikes an ethereal balance, spanning open-air panoramas, lush phrasings and resonating micro-themes via a largely unhurried gait. The musicians infuse variable moods amid Paulo's edgy and darkly woven electric keys to counter the resonating exchanges and peppery upsurges in pitch. Paulo also performs on acoustic piano, and uses the accordion to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dennis Gonzalez Yells at Eels: Cape of Storms

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Texas-based trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez's distinctive alliance of composition, structure and technique has blossomed into an elevated art form within the global jazz and improvisation circles. The trumpeter's compositions periodically spawn a few nods to Ornette Coleman's harmolodic methodology, largely founded within cyclical themes built on tonal shifts and punctuated rhythmic lines. The artist also incorporates massive attacks and uses density and space as additional instruments. On Cape of Storms, featuring his sons Aaron Gonzalez (bass), and Stefan Gonzalez (drums, percussion), Gonzalez Sr. delves into capacious movements amid world music aspects, spiced with disparate tonalities and open-air like ostinatos.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dennis Gonzalez: A Matter Of Blood

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The reemergence of trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez continues. But, to quote an infamous rapper, “Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years." And Gonzalez has been making music for many years. Since he has lived the last three decades in Texas, the New York-centric jazz world tended to overlook him. With a flurry of activity of late, it is nearly impossible to ignore him.

He recorded for Sweden's Silkheart in the 1980s, and more recently Portugal's Clean Feed, releasing the stunning discs NY Midnight Suite (2004), Idle Wild (2005), Dance of the Soothsayer's Tongue (Live at Tonic) ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dennis Gonzalez / Jnaana Septet: The Gift Of Discernment

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Trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez has been responsible for some beautifully realized music on record in the past and this is a worthy addition to the canon. The music's full of that often difficult to define quality called life, shot through with a group conception which makes for a realization which is simultaneously both tight and loose.

The presence of percussionist Alvin Fielder provides a kind of link with the percussive workouts of the Art Ensemble Of Chicago, and it's that aesthetic which pervades the first four minutes of the opener, “Raise The Spirit," before Chris Parker's piano strikes out for territories ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dennis Gonzalez: Dance of the Soothsayers Tongue (Live at Tonic)

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Dennis González may the greatest trumpeter that you've never heard of. The Texas native, active some thirty years ago, has reawakened to provide a batch of stellar recordings. Dance of the Soothsayer's Tongue (Live at Tonic), with his New York Quartet, might be one of the best jazz releases of 2007.

With nearly thirty releases as leader, his music has somehow always flown under the jazz radar. But ask musicians like Charles Burnham, Kidd Jordan, Nels Cline, Elton Dean, Keith Tippett, John Carter, Roy Campbell, Jr., Olu Dara, and Hamid Drake, all collaborators, and you'll hear of his ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dennis Gonzalez / Yells at Eels: Geographia

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Trumpeter Dennis González's tunes and improvisations are open and free-form, while still retaining a strong rhythmic pulse and forward motion. Evident, too, is a kind of Southwestern color that looks towards Mexico and Latin America. Yells at Eels is the name of a group he started with his sons, bassist Aaron and drummer Stefan. Geographia has the vibe of a party of like-minded players, and the whole thing feels live--with Stefan bashing away but continuing to hold that pulse, and Aaron thumping acoustically and electrically to further the far-out jam band groove. The guests are friends and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dennis Gonzlez's Spirit Meridian: Idle Wild

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As with his previous efforts, notably 2004's quartet NY Midnight Suite, Texas-born trumpeter Dennis González creates jazz steeped in life's various joys, anxieties, truths and wonders. González's works require time and patience for full appreciation as they unfold through various rhythms, melodies, and harmonies. This is a thinking person's jazz. Catchy riffs and clever hooks won't do here. Tolerance and serenity are in abundance instead on Idle Wild, with saxophonist Oliver Lake, bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Michael T. A. Thompson expanding and enriching the album's wisdom.

The recording begins with the sophisticated “Elechi," an elegy for Malachi Flavors that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dennis Gonzalez's Spirit Meridian: Idle Wild

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The second Dennis Gonzalez sighting on the Portuguese Clean Feed label solidifies his reputation with some remarkable writing and playing. He retains only drummer Michael Thompson from his first outing, NY Midnight Suite (2004). This studio session finds him in good company with bassist Fen Filiano and saxophonist Oliver Lake.

The Texan trumpeter has been a shadowy figure in jazz, electing not to quit his day job teaching in the public schools. He has worked with leaders of the new jazz movements and was closely associated with Charles Brackeen in the 1980s.

Idle Wild pulls from ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Dennis Gonzlez: NY Midnight Suite & Nile River Suite & Old Time Revival

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Dennis González NY Quartet NY Midnight Suite Clean Feed 2005

After teaching for thirty years in the Dallas public school system, underground trumpeter Dennis González was asked in 2003 to participate in the FONT trumpet festival at Tonic. The back half of NY Midnight Suite is thirty minutes recorded live by the band González brought together for that event. Tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin plays with dynamism, ranging from low, whispery notes to full-on nearly electrified feedback, and on “Hymn for the Elders Eskelin's soulfulness is beautifully complemented by the leader. The three-part title suite ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dennis Gonzalez NY Quartet: NY Midnight Suite

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Internet chat boards remain places where all sorts of relationships take root. Even so it's not often that they're thought of as midwives for music. We have the Jazz Corner's Speakeasy to thank, at least in part, for the particular artistic partnership that resulted in this new Clean Feed compact disc. Trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez and saxophonist Ellery Eskelin each have ongoing forums at the site that allow regulars and visitors to posit questions about their respective musical endeavors. The two hadn't worked together in the past, but through correspondence quickly recognized a compatibility that eventually found fruition in this studio ...



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