by Don Phipps
Dennis Gonzalez's trio, Ataraxia is comprised of trumpet (Gonzalez), bass (Drew Phelps), and percussion (Jagath Lakpriya), a mix of instruments that on the surface would alone suggest interesting music. And their double album, Ts'iibil Chaaltun, does not disappoint. There's a lot of desert in this music... large rocks that jut from the sand, dunes that stretch to the sunset, and a sense of vista. There's also the dance. Listen to Yarn" and how it spins a web of ...read more
by Karl Ackermann
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 ...read more
by Glenn Astarita
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 ...read more
by Glenn Astarita
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), ...read more
by Mark Corroto
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 ...read more
by Nic Jones
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 ...read more
by Mark Corroto
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 ...read more