Dennis González - The Great Bydgoszcz Concert

Stuart Kremsky, IAJRC Journal

Texas-based cornetist Dennis González has been leading his family band, Yells At Eels, since the Nineties, with sons Aaron on bass and Stefan on drums. Explosive tenorist Rodrigo Amado rounds out the free-bopping quartet for The Great Bydgoszcz Concert. A well-recorded live club date, the evening’s program includes compositions by all hands, a romp through Ornette Coleman’s Happy House, and in a nod to their Polish audience, an elegant and spacious version of the famous jazz-minded film composer Krzysztof Komeda’s Litania.

The family closeness is manifested here by the total confidence the band displays as they manipulate the rhythmic environment by subtly stretching and compressing the beat to generate a totally absorbing unity of sound. It’s a long CD, but it’s so easy to get lost in the music’s direct soloing and rhythmic momentum that it seems to fly by. The unjustly neglected González has had an elevated profile in the last few years, recording for a variety of labels with the likes of Oliver Lake, Ellery Eskelin, and Reggie Workman. The Great Bydgoszcz Concert is a fine example of his musicianship and vision, and is heartily recommended.