Thursday, September 21, 2017
Dennis Gonzalez's Ataraxia, Ts'iibil Chaaltun
The vinyl presentation is state-of-the-art, a beautiful object in itself. The music is singular, with classical Indian-cum-fusion-Milesian-cum-free-jazz furtherences saving our musical day. The trio says much with only three voices, Dennis of course, Jagath Lapriya on tablas and Drew Phillips on contrabass. The music wisely conflates multiple stylistic worlds with an organic wholeness that seems effortless but of course is a product of careful interlistening and instrumental insights.
There are the tablas nicely laying down the rhythmic core, occasional tambura drone, thoughtful contrabass anchorage and variations, and some haunting Gonzalez trumpet.
It turns out to be a marvelously varied platform that never seems the least bit contrived. It explores a spectrum of possibilities in ways that ring the truest and make a major art music statement.
It may not be exactly what you would expect from Dennis Gonzalez. And that is partly the point. He never rests and in the travelling comes a mastery of possibilities for which this trio has fully prepared.
A milestone, this is! And fully worthy to traverse universes, to take your ears to places somehow familiar yet boldly personal. Wow!