295

Chris Dingman: Waking Dreams

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Chris Dingman: Waking Dreams Many jazz releases suffer from the same old "song and dance" syndrome—a couple of obligatory ballads (song narrative) sprinkled between numbers of up-tempo (dance) tracks. This repeated programming can get old very fast. But this is not the case with Waking Dreams , the long overdue and brilliant debut by vibraphonist Chris Dingman.

Emerging as a stylist with a pliable touch and warm presence, Dingman carries the deep tradition of patriarchs (Milt Jackson) and vibrant contemporaries (Stefon Harris). He is cut from the same mold as the prodigious peers who contribute to the recording—saxophonist Steve Lehman and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire among others—young thinkers who have expressed their own visions of modern jazz. With verdant ideas taken literally from the vibraphonist's REM sleep, the atmospheric set is beautifully rendered and thoroughly accessible.

The music reflects the vibraphonist's tonality—graceful, calculating, and inquisitive. A theme runs through the program as interpreted by a group of rising stars. The onset is cerebral in "Vijayanagara," as Akinmusire and alto saxophonist Loren Stillman meander peacefully through the fugue-like melody. But the vibe shifts harder with "Jet Lag," one of the release's more groove-oriented pieces, marked by Joe Sanders's power bass, drummer Justin Brown's tempestuous rhythms, and erratic solo flights, only to end with Dingman's sweeping volume swells.

The tracks are vignettes of imagination. There's sadness and allurement in "Manhattan Bridge," and austere refinement in "Same Coin" colored by strokes of flute and clarinet and a lovely spot by pianist Fabian Almazan. And there's the whirlwind title track, where the musicians maneuvering in and out of its increasing intensity. Dingman is illusive, a master of disguise; his mallets adding delicate shades and hues. But he can also ignite, as in "Clear The Rain," with a solo like wildfire, developing slowly and then spreading quickly.

Akinmusire's presence is also important; he can carry a melody (the aforementioned "Clear The Rain") or add depth and imagery in "Nocturnal," a piece that is as compelling as a cinematic score. Furthermore, these tracks highlight another point—Dingman is a serious composer. Whether it's the arc of "Zaneta"'s swing or the reciting of poetry in the darkly lit "Epilogue: Stillness," his debut is a work of art and form. To bring ideas into fruition—let alone ones from dreams—into music that's articulated at this level, is something to admire.


Track Listing: Prelude; Vijayanagara; Jet Lag; Manhattan Bridge; Indian Hill; Waking Dreams; Interlude; Same Coin; Shift in the Wind; Reflection; Clear the Rain; Nocturnal; Zaneta; Epilogue: Stillness.

Personnel: Ambrose Akinmusire: trumpet; Loren Stillman: saxophones; Fabian Almazan: piano; Joe Sanders: bass; Justin Brown: drums; Chris Dingman: vibraphone; Ryan Ferreira: guitar (3); Erica Von Kleist: flute (2, 8); Mark Small: bass clarinet (8).

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Between Worlds Music


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Elevation" CD/LP/Track Review Elevation
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "What was said" CD/LP/Track Review What was said
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 20, 2016
Read "Spirit Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Spirit Forward
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 7, 2016
Read "Sharpener" CD/LP/Track Review Sharpener
by Nick Davies
Published: December 21, 2016
Read "Goodbye to Language" CD/LP/Track Review Goodbye to Language
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: August 14, 2016
Read "Dixie Chicken" CD/LP/Track Review Dixie Chicken
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: May 28, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!