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Dennis Gonzalez Yells at Eels: Cape of Storms

Glenn Astarita By

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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.

Featuring fabled African and UK drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo, the band takes it time developing motifs that are chock full of subtle surprises and deviations, propagated by the dual percussion initiatives. On "Tag," for example, Moholo-Moholo instills a militaristic-like drum pattern that sets the stage for a powerful gala, augmented by the bassist's linear and trickling notes. Here, the leader launches a brisk storyline over-the-top via edgy and stinging choruses. Dennis Gonzalez acts as the igniter as the band picks up steam, underscored by the polyrhythmic flurries and tempered by soft overtones.

The trumpeter's impressive legacy moves forward in contrast to the sometimes tenuous progressive-jazz movement. Gonzalez's music serves as the antidote to the worn out situation where many jazz musicians are more concerned with rummaging through tricky time signatures and placing compositional form in the backseat. No doubt, Gonzalez' artistry resides in the upper echelon of the multifaceted jazz vernacular.

Track Listing: Document for Walt Dickerson; Interlude: A Desert Hidden in the Waves;Tag; Interlude; Cape of Storms; Interlude; Internal Dialogue, Eternal Pulse; Tranquilidad Alborotadora I; Cape of Storms II; Tranquilidad Alborotadora;. Snakehandle.

Personnel: Dennis Gonzalez: C trumpet, Bb cornet, gongs, sleigh bells, shakers, pao de chuva, goat hooves; Aaron Gonzalez: contrabass; Louis Moholo-Moholo: drums, voice; Stephan Gonzalez: vibraphone, drums, congas, balafon, djembe, roto-toms, temple bells, gongs, school bell, splash cymbals; Tim Green: tenor saxophone, tambourine.

Title: Cape of Storms | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Ayler Records


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