Dennis Rollins


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British trombonist Dennis Rollins has carved out a notable reputation performing with fellow compatriot saxophonist Courtney Pine among his involvement in funk bands and various session dates. With this 2002 effort, the artist spurs notions of many of the '70s and '80s jazz-based crossover experiments where artists took a stab at venturing into more commercially viable markets. And while Rollins is no slouch as an instrumentalist, this hybrid funk/soul outing features some downright campy lyricism provided by vocalist Mo Mason and others. But the trombonist is effective at leading the charge via his memorably melodic lines and fluent mode of execution. No doubt, this is party music as the leader incorporates his "Party People" for a series of mild rap episodes, background banter, and so on. Riffs explored here might elicit memories of the Average White Band amid a tinge of '60s Motown witnessed on the supercharged funk piece titled "Shake It Down" and others. However, Rollins salvages much of the shenanigans with harmonically rich, overdubbed choruses and robust soloing. Essentially, it's hard not to like this CD, largely due to the musicians' sincere approach and affable demeanor. On the other hand, Rollins and his musical associates do not attempt to reinvent the wheel, but effectively manage to generate quite a bit of fun and frolic.

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