Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

205

Darius Jones Trio: Big Gurl (Smell My Dream)

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Darius Jones' debut recording, Man'ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing) (AUM Fidelity, 2009), heralded the arrival of an important new voice on alto saxophone. Big Gurl (Smell My Dream) is the second release in an ongoing series of concept records slated to document Jones' personal development—from his origins in Richmond, Virginia to his relocation as a member of New York's fertile Brooklyn scene. Eschewing the star power of his first album, which included multi-instrumentalist Cooper-Moore and drummer Bob Moses, this date finds Jones supported by his working trio, featuring bassist Adam Lane and drummer Jason Nazary.

Once again drawing on his Southern roots for inspiration, Jones revels in a program that runs the gamut from tender balladry to testimonial fervor—with a penchant for all things funky underscoring the date. Infusing the proceedings with a judicious dose of "soul power," Jones' elastic vibrato and acerbic tone imbues lingering glissandi with as much pathos as blistering scalar runs. Working subtle variations across a variety of approaches, Jones hones in on each unique number with extraordinary attention to detail. He punctuates the thorny opener "E-Gaz" and abstracted funk of the quixotic closer "Ol' Metal-Faced Bastard" with strategically placed multiphonic accents, overblown notes and caterwauling trills that fortify the tunes' underlying structures. Conversely, he extends the melodious resonance of the heartfelt ballad "Michele Hearts Willie" with long sonorous tones and amplifies the forlorn sentiment of "I Wish I Had A Choice" with his fluid vibrato, crafting melancholy lyricism from the upper ranges of his horn.

Although Jones' breathtaking technique and unfettered creativity could easily dominate the session, he proves his mettle as a magnanimous leader by providing ample solo space for his sidemen, whose accompaniment borders on the clairvoyant. Among numerous interjections and asides, Lane's imposing arco drones on "My Special "D"" and Nazary's thrilling trap set workout on the manic "Chasing The Ghost" stand out as highlights.

In a set dominated by originals, "A Train" provides historical context for Jones' probing excursions, establishing his deep-seated relationship to the tradition. The trio reinterprets the rearranged Duke Ellington chestnut with a pithy blend of nostalgic reverence, coruscating expressionism and futuristic swing, culminating in a brief but bluesy hip-hop styled coda that conceptually encapsulates almost the entire 20th Century lineage of Black music in America.

Fulfilling (and exceeding) expectations, Big Gurl (Smell My Dream) is a rightfully compelling follow-up to his stunning debut. With another installment already in the works, Jones has set the stage for a winning series of albums designed to document his rise as one of the most impressive and unique voices of our time.

Track Listing: E-Gaz; Michelle Loves Willie; A Train; I Wish I Had A Choice; My Special "D"; Chasing The Ghost; Ol' Metal-Faced Bastard.

Personnel: Darius Jones: alto sax; Adam Lane: bass: Jason Nazary: drums.

Title: Big Gurl (Smell My Dream) | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: AUM Fidelity

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Mar18Mon
Darius Jones
Experimental Sound Studio
Chicago, IL

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read East Of The River Nile Album Reviews
East Of The River Nile
By Chris May
February 23, 2019
Read VOX Album Reviews
VOX
By Friedrich Kunzmann
February 23, 2019
Read live@ZKM Album Reviews
live@ZKM
By Bruce Lindsay
February 23, 2019
Read cinder: ember: ashes Album Reviews
cinder: ember: ashes
By Glenn Astarita
February 23, 2019
Read Amour Album Reviews
Amour
By Doug Collette
February 23, 2019
Read Friendly Signs Album Reviews
Friendly Signs
By Don Phipps
February 22, 2019
Read The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes Album Reviews
The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes
By Roger Farbey
February 22, 2019