205

Darius Jones Trio: Big Gurl (Smell My Dream)

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Darius Jones Trio: Big Gurl (Smell My Dream) 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

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Metamorphosis" CD/LP/Track Review Metamorphosis
by James Nadal
Published: July 10, 2016
Read "Sunkissed" CD/LP/Track Review Sunkissed
by Jeff Winbush
Published: September 11, 2016
Read "Bekkenjordet" CD/LP/Track Review Bekkenjordet
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 15, 2017
Read "South Beat" CD/LP/Track Review South Beat
by Edward Blanco
Published: September 6, 2016
Read "The Tenth Muse" CD/LP/Track Review The Tenth Muse
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: April 7, 2017
Read "Forage" CD/LP/Track Review Forage
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 16, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.