Dennis Gonzalez / Yells at Eels

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Every now and then, talented trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez surprises his admirers with a new group or concept. For this album, he records with his family trio, which he calls Yells at Ells, consisting of the trumpeter plus sons Aaron on basses and Stefan on drums. A few others are added on selected tracks, most notably tenor saxophonist Tim Green, who also co-wrote one piece. Dennis Gonzalez has always been a lyrical player at heart, even though he has performed admirably with some icons of the avant-garde jazz world, and his music always reflects some radical influences. Even here, two of his compositions are named after free improvisation trumpet stylists Wadada Leo Smith and Toshinori Kondo. While there are occasionally unusual aspects to these and some of the other tracks, such as Dennis Gonzalez's use of multi-tracking and synthesizers, there is a calm, melodic quality to his playing throughout that infuses a peaceful quality to the pieces. The core family trio is a solid, synchronized unit with fine contributions from the sons. While Home is not nearly as impressive as some of the trumpeter's major earlier works such as Catechism, reissued on the Music & Arts label, this release still shows that the trumpeter's chops remain strong and his thought processes open and creative.

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