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Jazz Articles | Blog

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Yells at Eels: In Quiet Waters

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It would seem that trumpeter Dennis González could easily find a place among the better-known artists in jazz were it not for a deep commitment to making generally undefinable music and priorities that include putting his academic and literary responsibilities out front. From the time of his first release as a leader, Air Light (Sleep Sailor) (Daagnim, 1979), González began toying with unusual amalgams like free improvisation and quasi-big band augmented with global dynamics. Much of the way González communicates ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dennis Gonzalez - Joao Paulo: So Soft Yet

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Recorded in Portugal, Texas trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez and Portuguese keyboardist Joao Paulo offer a temperate pastoral setting, grounded on the duo's intake of regional sensibilities, ethnocentricities and emotive responses to cultural and spiritual components. With the effective use of space acting as a third instrument, the duo strikes an ethereal balance, spanning open-air panoramas, lush phrasings and resonating micro-themes via a largely unhurried gait. The musicians infuse variable moods amid Paulo's edgy and darkly woven electric keys to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dennis Gonzalez Yells at Eels: Cape of Storms

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Texas-based trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez's distinctive alliance of composition, structure and technique has blossomed into an elevated art form within the global jazz and improvisation circles. The trumpeter's compositions periodically spawn a few nods to Ornette Coleman's harmolodic methodology, largely founded within cyclical themes built on tonal shifts and punctuated rhythmic lines. The artist also incorporates massive attacks and uses density and space as additional instruments. On Cape of Storms, featuring his sons Aaron Gonzalez (bass), and Stefan Gonzalez (drums, percussion), ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dennis Gonzalez: A Matter Of Blood

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The reemergence of trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez continues. But, to quote an infamous rapper, “Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years." And Gonzalez has been making music for many years. Since he has lived the last three decades in Texas, the New York-centric jazz world tended to overlook him. With a flurry of activity of late, it is nearly impossible to ignore him.

He recorded for Sweden's Silkheart in the 1980s, and more recently Portugal's Clean ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dennis Gonzalez / Jnaana Septet: The Gift Of Discernment

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Trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez has been responsible for some beautifully realized music on record in the past and this is a worthy addition to the canon. The music's full of that often difficult to define quality called life, shot through with a group conception which makes for a realization which is simultaneously both tight and loose.

The presence of percussionist Alvin Fielder provides a kind of link with the percussive workouts of the Art Ensemble Of Chicago, and it's that aesthetic ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dennis Gonzalez: Dance of the Soothsayers Tongue (Live at Tonic)

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Dennis González may the greatest trumpeter that you've never heard of. The Texas native, active some thirty years ago, has reawakened to provide a batch of stellar recordings. Dance of the Soothsayer's Tongue (Live at Tonic), with his New York Quartet, might be one of the best jazz releases of 2007.

With nearly thirty releases as leader, his music has somehow always flown under the jazz radar. But ask musicians like Charles Burnham, Kidd Jordan, Nels Cline, Elton ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dennis Gonzalez / Yells at Eels: Geographia

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dennis Gonzlez's Spirit Meridian: Idle Wild

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As with his previous efforts, notably 2004's quartet NY Midnight Suite, Texas-born trumpeter Dennis González creates jazz steeped in life's various joys, anxieties, truths and wonders. González's works require time and patience for full appreciation as they unfold through various rhythms, melodies, and harmonies. This is a thinking person's jazz. Catchy riffs and clever hooks won't do here. Tolerance and serenity are in abundance instead on Idle Wild, with saxophonist Oliver Lake, bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Michael T. A. ...


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