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Dennis González Yells At Eels - Cape of Storms

Jason Bivins, Cadence Magazine

The power of Dennis Gonzalez’ vision over time is one of the most consistently distinctive and affecting things in the music. With the growing assurance of his “family band” Yells at Eels, this is a multi-generational project that has led to numerous collaborations and undeniably some of the best music of the trumpeter/composer’s career. Two of his best of the last few years have come courtesy of Ayler, and this latest is a doozy. Longtime friend Tim Green is on board here, a deeply sympathetic player, and with the wondrous Louis Moholo-Moholo aboard on drums, we also have a greater opportunity to hear more of Stefan Gonzalez’ vibes and percussive all-sorts (nowhere more emphatically than on the superb opening track). The long album emerges as something of a suite, as is often the composer’s wont, and it’s hard to deny that there is a kind of ritualistic intensity to the whole. Part of the feel of record is shaped through a series of solo interludes, with strong entries coming courtesy of Aaron Gonzalez’ bass (“A Desert Hidden in the Waves”) and Stefan’s amazingly layered percussion (“Internal Dialogue, Eternal Pulse”), though all acquit themselves well. But it’s the group interplay that is so sumptuously on display in the record’s finest pieces, tough and knotty but elegant and lyrical at once. “Tag” is as buoyant and bouncy a freebop tune as you could want, with superbly inventive trumpet from the leader, from singing lines all the way into squiggly brassy burbles (the clinic continues with his solo feature “Gecka”). Green’s dark ruminations usher in the first part of the title track – marked by tons of space, and some excellent bass embellishments – and the music gets richer still on the second part. But the best interplay comes towards the end, with the exultations of “Tranquilidad Alborotadora II” and the intense holy-rolling slice of “Snakehandlers.” Another superlative release from DG.