Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Christy Doran's Sound Fountain: For The Kick Of It


Christy Doran's Sound Fountain: For The Kick Of It


Sign in to view read count
Christy Doran's Sound Fountain: For The Kick Of It
Released shortly before turning seventy, Christy Doran's third outing with Sound Fountain finds the Irish-born, Lucerne-based guitarist playing as well as at any time during his fifty-year career. It marks a blistering return for Doran to electric trio terrain, following the experimentation of 144 Strings for a Broken Chord (Between the Lines, 2018)—compositions for twenty electric guitars, four basses and drums—and the uncategorizable, and sonically challenging, Âme Sèche (Leo Records, 2018). The template here is broadly the same as that laid out on Belle Epoque (Between the Lines, 2016) and Undercurrent—Live at Theatre Gutersloh (Intuition, 2017); that's to say, punchy riffs and circling motifs woven over fiercely driving rhythmic patterns, but, as these eight instrumentals attest, four years of gigging has sharpened the trio's claws.

Sound Fountain's strength lies in its equilibrium, with bassist Franco Fontanarrosa and drummer Lukas Mantel equal partners in the adventure. Indeed, much of the excitement is generated not so much in the soloing, good as it is, as in the trio's exhilarating interplay. In fact, Doran and Fontanarrosa's respective solos on "Every Dog Has its Day" inject wiry abstraction and lyricism—rather than more fuel—into the furnace of powerhouse riffs and churning rhythms. The pattern may be similar throughout, but Doran's writing, laced with instantly memorable hooks, imbues each composition with a distinct personality.

The relentless, chugging-train rhythms of Mantel's brushes that underpin "Thanks to Otmar" spur Doran to a gnarly, solo of compelling twists, but long after the guitarist's fireworks have abated it's the trio's rhythms that remain etched in the memory. On "Andromeda" the dialog is less fiery, but tightly bound nevertheless, with pockets of accelerated rhythm, and Doran's measured solo, breaking up the pattern. The title track provides the album's greatest adrenaline rush. This searing trio workout, founded on Doran and Fontanarrosa's breathless unison lines and Mantel's dramatic stick work, is crowned by a typically gritty, impassioned solo from the leader.

Fontanarrosa and Mantel contribute starkly contrasting compositions. Fontanarrosa's "Abstracción Felina" plies an episodic course, with punchy unison riffs and more pensive passages bookending Doran's delightful melodic motif. Mantel's "The Spanish Moment" is a dreamy affair that somehow balances baroque grace and airy psychedelia. The trio share writing credits on two numbers: "Fountain V" is a brief exercise in loose abstraction, with Doran's loop effects chiming like woozy bells; "Fountain II," on the other hand, progresses from ethereal sound-scaping into a disarming thirty-second abyss of complete silence, only for the trio's fires to be rekindled in an edgy attack punctuated by Doran's Jimi Hendrix-esque blues and a killing, grungy riff.

Direct enough to merit the powerhouse trio tag, yet sufficiently left-field to fall into avant-rock or alt-rock fields, For the Kick of It provides heady testament to Sound Fountain's collective talents, spearheaded by the ever-agile Doran.

Track Listing

Every Dog Has Its Day; Thanks to Otmar; Andromeda; Abstracción Felina; Fountain V; The Spanish Moment; For The Kick Of It; Fountain II.


Christy Doran: electric guitar; Franco Fontanarrosa: electric bass; Lukas Mantel: drums.

Album information

Title: For The Kick Of It | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Between the Lines


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.



Ruth Goller
Mike LeDonne
Heart Mind and Soul
Randy Bernsen
Tidal Currents: East Meets West
Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.