174

Dennis Gonzalez / Yells at Eels: Geographia

By

Sign in to view read count
Dennis Gonzalez / Yells at Eels: Geographia Trumpeter Dennis González's tunes and improvisations are open and free-form, while still retaining a strong rhythmic pulse and forward motion. Evident, too, is a kind of Southwestern color that looks towards Mexico and Latin America. Yells at Eels is the name of a group he started with his sons, bassist Aaron and drummer Stefan.

Geographia has the vibe of a party of like-minded players, and the whole thing feels live—with Stefan bashing away but continuing to hold that pulse, and Aaron thumping acoustically and electrically to further the far-out jam band groove. The guests are friends and compatriots from the local scene—tenor saxophonist Carl Smith, flutist Devon Wells, trombonist Kim Corbet and electric guitarist Bill Pohl—who float in and out of the tunes with complementary colors. The appropriately named opener, "Ethereal Carpet Ride, finds Stefan on vibes, Dennis on drums and flute, Aaron on acoustic bass, and guest Wells also on flute, inviting us aboard their moving aerial transport. There's a solid groove, even as all the players wail.

The title tune also seems to be about exploring places as Dennis (Bb trumpet), Smith (tenor), Aaron (bass) and Stefan (drums) express their open and loose approach to movement in a group composition/improvisation. This is not about pyrotechnics or about aggressive soloing, but rather communication among eloquent players.

The family González wrote the expressive "Elegy for a Slaughtered Democracy, whose poignancy and power suggest that it may even be America. Though all the tunes are somewhat extended improvisations, the album closes with an impassioned document for another major force in new music, bassist William Parker. The piece and the album as a whole celebrate the continued vitality of freedom and passion of improvisation and group communication.

Track Listing: Ethereal Carpet Ride; Geografia; Elegy for a Slaughtered Democracy; Crow Soul; Mutation Station; Document for William Parker.

Personnel: Dennis Gonz

Title: Geographia | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Inner Realms Outer Realms


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Good Merlin CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow" CD/LP/Track Review Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture" CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by Troy Collins
Published: October 20, 2016
Read "Reflections" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Parachute" CD/LP/Track Review Parachute
by Mike Jacobs
Published: September 13, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.