Chicago based trumpeter and composer Paul Dietrich's debut album We Always Get There
is a vibrant and explorative work of modern music that inhabits the border zone between the mainstream and the Avant-Garde. The record's intricately constructed originals, with dramatic ambiences, are provocative while remaining intensely melodic, simultaneously accessible and pleasantly challenging.
The intimate theme of "House On Willard" undulates within the tune's intriguing harmonic framework. Saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi
's lyrical, serpentine improvisation ebbs and flows with a melancholic touch. Dietrich brings an understated fervor and a definite poetic sense to his turn in the spotlight.
Dietrich and Laurenzi weave with their overlapping, meandering soliloquys a delightfully angular and curiously gripping sonic tapestry on "Unravel." The piece, the only one not by Dietrich, is a contemplative and modal musical exploration with an Eastern lilt. Over pianist Paul Bedal
's darkly shimmering notes the winds engage in a mystical and sublimely emotive dialogue that echo Icelandic musician, Björk
's own version of the song.
Bedal creates a tense atmosphere on the taut and intense "Construct" with his intelligent and eloquent solo. His thick, percussive chords evolve over bassist Tim Ipsen
's deep, dark rumble and drummer Andrew Green
's funky, rocking beats. Dietrich's fiery trumpet and Laurenzi's gritty tenor participate in an ardent and inventive duel that thrills and stimulates.
The frontline showcases a primal yet transcendental spirituality with their adventurous conclusion of the wistful and solemn "Drive Safe." Dietrich's somber, undulating tones blow over Bedal's tolling keys. Ipsen's sedate thrums and Green's austere thuds enhance the prayer like mood that Laurenzi pierces with his reserved wail. The band's gentle, pensive refrains follow Dietrich's mournful horn like a captivating funereal marche
With this superbly imaginative and cohesive recording Dietrich proves himself an apt bandleader, an exceptional composer and a superlative performer. The ingenuity of his freshman effort and its elegant and passionate creative energy are harbingers of a brilliant and singular artistic career.
Dunes; House On Willard; 12:48; Currents; Constructs; Unravel; Impulse (Interlude);
Thought; Drive Safe.
Paul Dietrich: trumpet; Dustin Laurenzi: tenor sax; Paul Bedal: piano; Tim Ipsen: bass;
Andrew Green: drums.