Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

20

Dennis Rollins Velocity Trio: The 11th Gate

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
For more than two decades, British trombonist Dennis Rollins has played alongside Maceo Parker, Courtney Pine, The Brand New Heavies and others in and around his home base in the United Kingdom. Rollins' first international release, The 11th Gate came about from a simple conversation Rollins had with Pine, who wondered if it was possible for Rollins to record his Velocity Trio in a way that truly reflected the trombonist's personal influences and style.

It's no wonder that Pine wondered: You don't hear too many organ trios like Rollins' Velocity Trio, which features drummer/percussionist Pedro Segundo and Ross Stanley on the Hammond B-3, led by Rollins' trombone and electronics. You also don't hear too many bands that devote their international debut to a numerical motif. "My familiar area of funk and groove was not the focus, but not to be ignored," the leader explains. "I chose the overall theme (and composition titles) to reflect global awareness, focusing on the evolution of human collective consciousness AND the need to recognize each individual's unique spiritual being. I honed in on a specific date on our calendar—November 11, 2011 (11.11.11)—THE ELEVENTH GATE, signaling a universal paradigm shift, an emergence into our authentic selves." (November 11, 2011 was also Rollins' 47th [4 + 7 = 11] birthday.)

So The 11th Gate is sprawling and ambitious. Thanks to Rollins' inventive instrumentation and compositions, stitched into whole cloth by solo trombone, percussion and Hammond interludes, it is also a triumph. The leadoff "Samba Galactica" serves a great introductory course: While Segundo and Stanley drift in and out of airy samba and jazz rhythms, Rollins's trombone alternates between notes that sharply sting like crisply articulated trumpet, and soft tones that paint in butterfly flurries of languid color; when Rollins' trombone steps aside, Segundo and Stanley dialogue generates engaging Brazilian magic.

On "The Other Side," Stanley runs through organ chords that somehow bob and crest in waves, from which Rollins' trombone seems to rise like a larger than life musical leviathan. Rollins kicks off "Big Chill" with meaty riffing, introducing New Orleans drumming that quickly shuffles much further out, then leads the trio back and forth between this progressive jazz stratosphere and a more earthy, wanton Crescent City funk stomp.

The Velocity Trio's take on "Freedom Jazz Dance" sounds naturally its own, as if it was its tune and not written by Eddie Harris. Harris would like this version: Segundo and Stanley shake and stir the rhythm as Rollins' trombone makes pleasantly light work of this funky, muscular jazz classic to transform his inspiration into original and inventive music—perhaps the ultimate tribute to the iconoclastic, quixotic Harris.

Track Listing: Samba Galactica; Emergence; Everything Is Mind; Ujamma; Contemplation; The Other Side; Big Chill; Lightworker; Freedom Jazz Dance; Illuminous; The 11th Gate.

Personnel: Dennis Rollins: trombone, electronics; Ross Stanley: Hammond organ; Pedro Segundo: drums, percussion.

Title: The 11th Gate | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Motema Music


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Formidable CD/LP/Track Review Formidable
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Cochonnerie CD/LP/Track Review Cochonnerie
by John Sharpe
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Smoke CD/LP/Track Review Smoke
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Threes CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "To the Bone" CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by John Kelman
Published: August 26, 2017
Read "No Mundo Dos Sons" CD/LP/Track Review No Mundo Dos Sons
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: October 12, 2017
Read "Triplicate" CD/LP/Track Review Triplicate
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival
by John Sharpe
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Tipico" CD/LP/Track Review Tipico
by James Nadal
Published: January 12, 2017
Read "Chimeric Stoned Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Chimeric Stoned Horn
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 3, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor