Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dennis Gonzalez/Yells At Eels' "Bandoleros en Gdansk"

Bandoleros en Gdansk is the second recording from a collaboration Dennis Gonzalez/Yells At Eels undertook last year with a pair of Polish musicians, bassist Wojtek Mazolewski and tenor saxophonist Marek Pospieszalski. While their session at Radio Gdansk was curtailed after only 24 minutes, the full results are now available on two vinyl artifacts, both on Dallas-based indie labels: TreeFallSounds' Wind Streaks in Syrtis Major 7" from earlier this year, and now this newly released 45 rpm 12" on 1 Car Garage.

Opening track "The Polish Spirit" is a moody waltz, which Stefan Gonzalez propels like a runaway freight train, clattering along polyrhythmically and throwing out jaw-dropping fills with insouciant abandon. Dennis solos in the middle of his horn's range with a burnished tone, his careening line skirting the limits of tonality. Pospieszalski joins in, commenting on the trumpeter's improvisation before undertaking one of his own. The saxophonist plays with great soul and invention, his long tones evoking the solitude of snow-dusted forests.

Turning the record over, the title track opens with horn polyphony that recalls Ornette's early '70s band with Dewey Redman, then falls into a rock-like, bass-driven groove, with Pospieszalski and the elder Gonzalez testifying on their horns. The rapturously kinetic romp "Artykuty Gospodoarstwa Domowego" begins and ends with a lighthearted vocalization of the title by Dennis, with Mazolewski and Aaron Gonzalez wrestling monolithic slabs of sound from their twin basses in between. It's a pithy and humorous way to end the outing. Jimi Bowman's mastering and the high-quality pressing preserve the immediacy of the moment beautifully.


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