193

Dennis Gonzalez's Spirit Meridian: Idle Wild

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Dennis Gonzalez's Spirit Meridian: Idle Wild The second Dennis Gonzalez sighting on the Portuguese Clean Feed label solidifies his reputation with some remarkable writing and playing. He retains only drummer Michael Thompson from his first outing, NY Midnight Suite (2004). This studio session finds him in good company with bassist Fen Filiano and saxophonist Oliver Lake.

The Texan trumpeter has been a shadowy figure in jazz, electing not to quit his day job teaching in the public schools. He has worked with leaders of the new jazz movements and was closely associated with Charles Brackeen in the 1980s.

Idle Wild pulls from many "new" movements in jazz, but remains highly listenable and exciting. The 21-minute-plus opening track, dedicated to the Art Ensemble of Chicago's now deceased Malachi Favors, plays with a Sketches of Spain/Witchi-Tai-To feel before evolving into a percussion/brass call and response. The piece, like an AEC improvisation, is doused full of redemptive hope and uplifting praise. Lake and Gonzalez make for a classic partnership, at times playing Coleman/Cherry-meet-Zorn/Douglas roles; in other words the relationship is simpatico. They skip and flutter around each other on "Bush Medicine, a lighthearted response to the if-I-only-had-a-brain US President, while Ken Filiano applies some heavy wooden vibes.

The title track is a collective improvisation, but that label doesn't give a fair representation of the songmaking of this quartet. They turn initial searching into a statement of purpose, evidence of the band's cohesive nature and each player's ability to listen to one another. Thompson must take credit here for pulse and shared energy. He leaves spaces for players between his toms and clanging.

The disc ends with the spirited "Document For Toshinori Kondo, a piece that elbows itself wholeheartedly up to the New York scene, demanding attention in the Downtown realm. All this is proof that Gonzalez has never been far away from what's happening now.

Track Listing: Elechi - Elergy For Malachi Favors; Bush Medicine; Dust; Idle Wild; Song; Document For Toshinori Kondo.

Personnel: Dennis Gonzalez: trumpet; Oliver Lake: alto saxophone; Ken Filiano: double bass; Michael T. A. Thompson: drums.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records | Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Nigerian Spirit CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960 CD/LP/Track Review Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Chapter Five CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read The Hive CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Ephimeral" CD/LP/Track Review Ephimeral
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Pasar Klewer" CD/LP/Track Review Pasar Klewer
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Strange But Not Entirely Unattractive" CD/LP/Track Review Strange But Not Entirely Unattractive
by Dave Wayne
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs" CD/LP/Track Review Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs
by John Eyles
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Yo!" CD/LP/Track Review Yo!
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 20, 2016
Read "Hotel Cinema" CD/LP/Track Review Hotel Cinema
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 3, 2016

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!