Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

172

Darling: D2R

Walter Kolosky By

Sign in to view read count
The high-gloss packaging and artwork would tend to indicate that D2R came from a top production company. But in fact D2R is the second self-produced album from percussionist/keyboardist Hal Darling. Mr. Darling’s liner notes are actually as entertaining as his music. If his words are to be believed, he is an overly dedicated musician and composer who just happens to be a self-deprecating narcissistic drunk as well. That combination can work for the rare individual and so it seems to do the trick for Darling. His prose and music suggest that the Nebraskan is the kind of guy who could be inhabiting one of the government's abandoned missile silos, toiling away on his keyboards and computers for hour after hour, day after day, year after year as a 21st century Phantom of the Opera.

D2R is a synthesized orchestral mixture of doom and gloom, augmented by occasional Zappa-esque humor and the driving force of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. (Dare I say there are even hints of Grand Funk Railroad from its “Flight of the Phoenix” days?) It is not jazz in any way but certainly has been influenced by jazz-rock fusion. There are few discernable solos, as Darling would rather focus on the dynamics of the music rather than the individual voices. With his keyboards and studio he is able to create a full synthetic orchestra. But Darling is smart enough to portray the music in that light and does not try to pretend the music is something it is not.

“Clown on Fire” opens the album and is its best piece. Despite its clearly subversive nature, it is rollicking good fun. One can actually visualize a video-game clown with his hair on fire desperately trying to find water to put it out. His life is in your hands. “Prom Vomit” will take you back to your high school days and “Asunder” will put you out of your misery.

Darling is joined by Uri Gatton on guitar and Athan Gallis on woodwinds. Their contributions seem important, but for the most part it is difficult to distinguish them apart from the synthesis that surrounds them. Perhaps the next time out Darling will wander off the range a bit and allow for some more personal expression. Could it be that doing so would betray his vision? We’ll only know if we find a way to remove his mask.


Track Listing: Clown on Fire; Black Rhyme; Prom Vomit; Where Seraphs Despair; Rope of Sand; Aggressive Biological Behavior; An Unsettled Score; Run; Dog Dreams; A Breach of Species- One Through Five; Mr. Smith Shows the Children How to Smoke a Cigarette; Asunder

Personnel: Hal Darling- Percussion and keyboards; Uri Gatton- all guitars; Athan Gallis- woodwinds, brass, MIDI horns

Title: D2R | Year Released: 2004

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
  • D2R by Walter Kolosky
Read more articles
D2R

2004
buy

Warning: include(/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php5:/data/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html:/usr/share/php') in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

More Articles

Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Vertical CD/LP/Track Review Vertical
by Don Phipps
Published: January 16, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Solid Gold CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Ts'iibil Chaaltun CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Standards" CD/LP/Track Review Standards
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 16, 2017
Read "Chapter Five" CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Live from Stern Grove Festival" CD/LP/Track Review Live from Stern Grove Festival
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: January 7, 2018
Read "Harmonies" CD/LP/Track Review Harmonies
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "East West Time Line" CD/LP/Track Review East West Time Line
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Nellie Bly Project" CD/LP/Track Review Nellie Bly Project
by Paul Rauch
Published: August 11, 2017