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Dennis González Yells At Eels - Cape of Storms

Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG Newsletter

In February of this year (2010) I had the good fortune to hear Frode Gjerstad's Circulasione Totale Orchestra in Philly, since this was the closest they got to NYC. I drove through a snowstorm to get there but was undaunted since their members included Louis Moholo, Paal Nilssen-Love & Ingbrid Haker Flaten. It turns out that the Orchestra was also scheduled to play in Texas, but the weather made it difficult to pull this off. With some luck & help from the Furthermore label & the Arts Council of New Orleans, Mr. Moholo-Moholo was able to play with his old collaborator Dennis Gonzalez in Texas & in New Orleans.
Each & every release from Dennis Gonzalez is special and often spiritual as well. His trio Yells at Eels with his two sons Aaron & Stefan is consistently inspired and they rise to occasion no matter who they are playing with. The sons are also gifted composers and have written four of the songs on this long, great disc. Dennis' "Document for Walt Dickerson" (legendary Philly vibes player) is first and features strong vibes from Stefan along with the distinctive, brilliant brush-work of Louis. The repeating riff is especially hypnotic and Dennis takes the first of many incredible trumpet or cornet solos. The interplay between the vibes and drums is completely magical and Aaron also takes a fine bass solo which is soon followed by another extraordinary unaccompanied bass solo interlude. Like Mr. Moholo-Moholo, Jason Yarde is another South Africa musician & composer. Mr. Yarde's "Tag" is next and it contains a most memorable melody and spirited double drumming. Dennis' high-flying cornet is featured here and soars like a bird in flight. "Interlude: Gecka" features a poignant solo trumpet episode and it is perfect intro for the title tune, "Cape of Storms". This piece features some exquisite balafon (African marimba) from Stefan, with the entrance of Tim Green on tenor sax, another under-recognized sax great. Tim takes his time and plays a long, lovely, warm-toned solo, the great vibration continuing with superb interplay from Dennis. Stefan & Louis perform a sublime, crafty percussion duo on "Interlude: Internal Dialogue, Eternal Pulse" with help from other members of the ensemble on hand percussion. Stefan's "Tranquilidad Alborotadora I & II" feature the vibes underscoring the complex interaction between the trumpet & percussion with more amazing vibes playing from Stefan. Most impressive solos from the vibes & trumpet makes this piece outstanding! At nearly 71 minutes, you might think that this disc is too long but you would be wrong since it flows together perfectly and is just phenomenal from the beginning to the end.