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Dave King Trucking Company: Surrounded by the Night

Glenn Astarita By

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Celebrated drummer Dave King (The Bad Plus, Happy Apple) bonds fellow Minnesota jazz musicians with like-minded New York artists on the Trucking Company's third release. His drums are constructed with bamboo and other woodgrain materials, which is a novel engineering process by the Milwaukee-based outfit Rat Rod drums. King's resonating sound envelops his fluid and punchy timekeeping prowess. And while the album's running time hovers near LP territory at around 36-minutes, the band makes full use of it with a mélange of disparate works, designed with a continuum of zesty song-forms and passionate exchanges.

World-renown saxophonist, clarinetist Chris Speed's somewhat patented, lilting clarinet lines add a buoyant outlook to several movements, yet King and bassist Chris Morrisey generate the high-impact goods on budding pieces such as "Parallel Sister Attack," paving a route for the frontline's climactic attack. Otherwise, the program contains thorny progressive jazz frameworks along with bop, swing, rock and other genres amid intermittent exoduses into the free zone.

" You Should Be Watching (Art) Films" is highlighted by electric guitarist Eric Fratzke's off-kilter distortion-tinged phrasings, coyly peppered by King. While "Blue Candy," is engineered with asymmetrical parts minimalism, avant-garde improvisation and the saxophonists' up-tempo modern jazz choruses. The tide turns on "Glamour Shot," where the drummer lays down a hard-hitting jazz-rock beat, leading his associates into a series of intricate phrasings and multilayered discourses. But the final track "Don't Be Suspect of a Gift," resides within the jazz fusion domain, incorporating sinuous horns developments and the soloists' sweltering escapades during the bridge.

King's affinity for Americana serves as an underlying force-field, complete with inferences to the blues and country, huddled within the prevalent jazz element. Indeed, the album left me craving for more, sort of like a first date that went very well but ended too soon.

Track Listing: Delta Kreme; Parallel Sister Track; You Should Be Watching (Art) Films; Blue Candy; Glamour Shot; That Isn't Even Worth Selling; Don't Be Suspect of a Gift.

Personnel: Eric Fratzke: electric guitar; Dave King: drums and cymbals; Chris Morrissey: acoustic bass; Chris Speed: tenor saxophone and clarinet; Brandon Wozniak: tenor saxophone.

Title: Surrounded by the Night | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

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