Dennis Gonzalez

Old Time Revival

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AllMusic Review by

This is Dennis González's first session for the label Entropy Stereo and his first recording with his New Southern Quintet. The lineup has been hand-picked among old friends with ties to the South. Drummer Alvin Fielder and bassist Malachi Favors form a supple rhythm section, while saxmen Andrew Lamb and Tim Green join the trumpeter on the horn line. The combination of González's trumpets, Lamb's tenor, and Green's bass sax and saxello opens wide-ranging possibilities in three-part lines. In the opening seconds of "The Matter at Hand," González plays his pocket trumpet like a soprano sax, sketching an airborne melody that will remain a highlight of the set. "Document for Charles Brackeen" is the most tightly written and exciting piece: hot head, great solo trading, and some mean walking from Favors. Then, Old Time Revival lets its momentum slip away for two slower numbers that fail to rise above the level of mediocre or average post-bop (Green's saxello solo in "Hordes of the Morning Star" is still worth lending an ear to). Fielder's "Four Moods for Carol" (the only track not written by González) leaves more room for free improvisation and succeeds in taking the music elsewhere without sounding out of place. The closing title track comes back to a tight, fast-paced hard bop verging on free jazz, with three-part horn leads and the trumpeter's most inspired solo of the session.

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