9

Dan DeChellis Trio: My Age of Anxiety

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
If anything in jazz approaches the status of a commodity, it would be the piano trio. The inevitable comparisons run the gamut from Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett to Cecil Taylor and, more often than not, those benchmarks are either unattainable or unsustainable. A more accessible measure may be in the ability to differentiate one group's unique contribution from the plethora of similarly structured groups. The Dan DeChellis Trio meets that distinction with its debut, My Age of Anxiety—but here, too, the comparisons are hard to ignore.

While DeChellis does cite Evans as an influence, he also credits Brian Eno and King Crimson as having an impact on his music and he leads a dual existence in more than one rock band. His exploratory nature is obvious in the opening title track—a temperate yet dynamic interplay of dark and lighter shades of emotion. "Dr. Kindt" incorporates DeChellis' affinity for classical music, another genre in which he has composed, taught and played. This particular piece eventually takes a alternative route into a style reminiscent of Jarrett's gospel-tinged Koln Concert (ECM, 1975). "After Much Deliberation" returns to a more serene state, though its complexity reflects the tension of options being weighed and considered. European-inspired minimalism, reminiscent of the Sebastian Liedke Trio, anchors "13 Holes" and adds another subtle dimension to the mix of material.

While the content of My Age of Anxiety is deeply personal, there is nothing cryptic about the compositions' titles. "Skirt Skate" is more up-tempo than much of the material in the collection. With an animated rumba-like undercurrent it nevertheless transitions perfectly into the very calm "Piece of Peace." "Path" begins along those same tranquil lines but later takes off, before coming full circle. "Suspended in Time" returns the collection to a more moderate boogie tempo, where DeChellis excels at demonstrating his ability to work quite lyrically within complex textures. "The Bottom" has the feeling of floating up through the atmosphere and it closes the collection on a cautiously optimistic note.

DeChellis is capable of being the force in a room, or a more ethereal presence. He improvises but does so within a sequence of themes, working with the structure but not over-thinking the direction of the music. The appeal of My Age of Anxiety grows with repeated listening; there is a quiet power in DeChellis' journey. The music has an open and, at times, free feeling that invites translation. My Age of Anxiety is an effectual and moving collection that deserves to bring wider recognition to this accomplished artist.

Track Listing: My Age of Anxiety; Dr. Kindt; After Much Deliberation; 13 Holes; SkirtSkate; A Piece of Peace; Path; The Façade; A Search for More; Suspended in Time; Change is Good; A Time of Sighs (for Paul Motian); A Sarcastic Welcome; The Bottom.

Personnel: Dan DeChellis: piano; Mitch Shelly: bass; Zach Martin: drums.

Title: My Age of Anxiety | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Cherry ‎– Sakura CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Blow, Strike & Touch CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "The Lovers card" CD/LP/Track Review The Lovers card
by James Nadal
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "The Space Between" CD/LP/Track Review The Space Between
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2016
Read "Freedom is Space for the Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom is Space for the Spirit
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Around The Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Around The Horn
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "Calvins Toboggan" CD/LP/Track Review Calvins Toboggan
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Three Miles From Avalon" CD/LP/Track Review Three Miles From Avalon
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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