Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dennis Gonzalez/Yells At Eels featuring Louis Moholo-Moholo - "Cape of Storms"

Yells At Eels' latest release, their second for Ayler Records (and an actual physical CD, unusual for that label), teams trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez, his fiery sons, and saxman Tim Green with South African-born/London expat drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo, with whom Dennis first recorded in 1987. Recorded in Dallas (amid the city's biggest snowstorm in 30 years) and New Orleans, Cape of Storms showcases a band whose performances are becoming ever more subtle and intricately detailed.

Stefan Gonzalez plays a lot of tuned percussion here -- sounding at different times like Bobby Hutcherson on a classic '60s Blue Note side (the opening track is a dedication by Dennis to obscuro post-bop vibist Walt Dickerson), Balinese gamelan filtered through Don Cherry, or Japanese music filtered through Harry Partch -- as well as churning up welters of polyrhythmic fury while playing double drums with Moholo-Moholo, an early influence. Stefan also composed three of the album's ten tunes.

His brother Aaron is continues to impress equally on arco or pizzicato bass. Father Dennis is becoming less reluctant to flaunt his trumpet mastery, alternating virtuosic flurries of notes with bittersweet, ruminative passages. While it's thrilling to hear the great Moholo-Moholo here, at this point, the main attraction of a new Yells At Eels recording is the anticipation of hearing how the improvisational dialogue between Gonzalez pere et fils will have evolved since last hearing.


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