159

Dave King Trucking Company: Good Old Light

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Dave King Trucking Company: Good Old Light Branching out from his duties in The Bad Plus and Happy Apple, drummer Dave King formed the Dave King Trucking Company to explore a highly personalized take on Americana that he describes as "if the great Nashville bands of the '60s and '70s could improvise and were John Coltrane fanatics." Building on this idea, King and company bolster tuneful themes with unfettered expressionism, drawing inspiration from the 1970s era work of Gary Burton and Keith Jarrett as well as contemporaneous krautrock pioneers like Can and Neu for their debut recording Good Old Light, which strikes a delicate balance between hypnotic lyricism and probing experimentation.

As interpreted by fellow Happy Apple member Erik Fratzke (electric guitar), Adam Linz (upright bass) and tenor saxophonists Chris Speed and Brandon Wozniak, King's melodious tunes sidestep conventional theme and variation-based structures, following their own episodic narratives. Despite his reputation as a percussive powerhouse, King proves to be a magnanimous leader, providing ample solo space for his sidemen while delivering a bevy of enthralling trap set ruminations. Trumping expectations, he introduces the thematically concise album in unconventional fashion, opening the date with "April in Gary," an unaccompanied piano meditation that seamlessly integrates scintillating Eastern tonalities with bluesy Western motifs.

The remainder of the date exudes a rich Heartland sensibility with sing-song melodies and propulsive grooves that fluctuate in and out of conventional harmony and standard time signatures, underscoring edgy improvisational gambits. The anthemic "You Can't Say 'Poem in Concrete'" and rocking "Hawk Over Traffic" are noteworthy examples of the band's concordance. Each features King's motoric backbeats and Linz's palpitating bass lines shadowed by Fratzke's shimmering fretwork, while Speed and Wozniak's diaphanous tenors ascend to the heavens, their labyrinthine cadences dovetailing into plangent synchronicity.

Evoking the burnished palette of American folk music traditions, Fratzke's overdriven sustain and twangy, reverb-laden tone lends an air of Midwestern authenticity to the proceedings, including the gospel-influenced "I Am Looking for Strength" and countrified "Payphones." The guitarist's sole contribution, the locomotive "Night Tram," draws from bop-ish antecedents, evoking urban panoramas with hairpin melodic turns that are further amplified by the leader's thrilling extended drum salvos. On a more austere note, the reverential "Church Clothes with Wallet Chain" trades impetuousness for humility before the post-rock influenced progression of "The Road Leads Home" slowly builds to an epic finale, closing the date with a telling blend of lyricism and power.


Track Listing: April in Gary; You Can't Say "Poem in Concrete"; I Am Looking for Strength; Night Tram; Payphones; Hawk Over Traffic; Church Clothes w/ Wallet Chain; The Road Leads Home.

Personnel: Dave King: drums, piano; Chris Speed: tenor saxophone; Brandon Wozniak: tenor saxophone; Erik Fratzke: electric guitar; Adam Linz: upright bass.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Oakland/Lisboa" CD/LP/Track Review Oakland/Lisboa
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "Old Locks And Irregular Verbs" CD/LP/Track Review Old Locks And Irregular Verbs
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 7, 2016
Read "Altered Narratives" CD/LP/Track Review Altered Narratives
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 2, 2016
Read "Beginning of A Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Beginning of A Memory
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 15, 2016
Read "Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5
by Doug Collette
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by Troy Collins
Published: October 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!