Dennis González Yells At Eels - Cape of Storms


Although no single record could possibly claim the mantle of ‘the best of 2010,’ I easily nominate Cape of Storms by trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez to be my second-to-none favorite for last year. I’ve been following Gonzalez since his debut for his own DIY label Daagnim in 1987, Catechism. Since then he’s released on average a record every year. However, he would also be counted as an unsung genius likely unknown to all but the most tenacious jazz fans.

I can circle back to my point about how the sophisticated listener might contextualize jazz year in and year out and point out that the history of jazz cant be intelligently spoken of without making room for Dennis Gonzalez. His artistry mixes a combination of freebop, African melody and rhythm, and, experimentation, in different quantities on different occasions.

He is an astonishing trumpeter in the vein of Don Cherry and Bobby Bradford, and his cascading lines can be said to dance. On Cape of Storms, he’s joined by Aaron González, double bass; Stefan González, drums, percussion; Louis Moholo-Moholo, drums, percussion; Tim Green, tenor sax. The South African percussion giant Moholo-Moholo is the ringer. This band is a family affair going on ten years. The two sons comprise a unique rhythm section; having internalized–no doubt–the rhythmic gospel of their father. The new record is tipped toward freebop, yet the underpinning is drumming.