All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

8

Dennis Gonzalez: Ts'iibil Chaaltun

Don Phipps By

Sign in to view read count
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 magic over Lakpriya's steady beat. In this cut, the bass girds the music with exploratory elements and Gonzalez plays a muted solo in the background that suggests Miles Davis at his coolest.

"Namesake" begins with a strong attack on the bass string by Phelps, and he is quickly joined by Lakpriya's steady tabla backbeat. Layered on top is a train-like horn solo by Gonzalez—and this evolves into a colorful expressiveness that has no small amount of Don Cherry-esque moments interspersed within its cascade. Phelps follows with his own solo that certainly echoes elements of Charlie Haden. Suddenly Gonzalez enters with a flamboyant up and down the register solo. And then that's followed by Lakpriya's playful retort. The track winds down with the trumpet's train horn refrain trailing into the distance.

Lakpriya has a very musical approach to the tuning of his tablas. The effect is most pronounced midway through the song "Parable." Gonzalez then enters with a very dreamlike solo, and the solo is backed by creative bass improvisation and tabla rhythms.

In some respects, Ts'iibil Chaaltun sounds like an homage to Old and New Dreams and Codona —though this by no means is a criticism of the album. Both groups produced a string of excellent albums from the mid-70s into the 80s (and for those who have not explored these albums, they're highly highly recommended). Nowhere is this influence more noticeable than in the track "Thoink," with its jagged dance-like rhythms and playful idioms.

It is in the subtle interplay of the three musicians that the genius of this music is most obvious. Gonzalez and his cohorts provide an invigorating yet subtle listening experience full of mystery and awe. Highly recommended.

Track Listing: Ukusa; Tsantsa; Yarn; Poem & Issy; Namesake; Parable; Thoink; Unguent.

Personnel: Dennis Gonzalez: trumpet, cornet, gongs, conch, bells, voice; Drew Phelps: bass, ride cymbal, gong, tamboura app; Jagath Lakpriya: tabla, tambourine.

Title: Ts'iibil Chaaltun | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Ts'iibil Chaaltun

Ts'iibil Chaaltun

Self Produced
2017

buy
In Quiet Waters

In Quiet Waters

Fortune Records
2015

buy
So Soft Yet

So Soft Yet

Clean Feed Records
2011

buy
Cape of Storms

Cape of Storms

Ayler Records
2010

buy
A Matter Of Blood

A Matter Of Blood

Furthermore Recordings
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Orientation CD/LP/Track Review
Orientation
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Romaria CD/LP/Track Review
Romaria
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 18, 2018
Read You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl! CD/LP/Track Review
You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Autres Paysages CD/LP/Track Review
Autres Paysages
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Elvesang CD/LP/Track Review
Elvesang
by John Kelman
Published: February 17, 2018
Read Necessary Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Necessary Arrangements
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "Sabiduria/Wisdom" CD/LP/Track Review Sabiduria/Wisdom
by James Nadal
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Liberation Narratives" CD/LP/Track Review Liberation Narratives
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 31, 2017
Read "Disappeared Behind the Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "Proverbe" CD/LP/Track Review Proverbe
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "Tales & Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Tales & Tones
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "We Are" CD/LP/Track Review We Are
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 1, 2018