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Dennis Rollins’ Velocity Trio, 11th Gate
Motema Music LLC, Nov. 11

01/12/12
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



For this album, the challenge before the trombone wunderkind was whether or not a trombone/organ/drums trio could make something palatable.  The resulting answer is an emphatic “Well sure, if that might be your thing.” Before getting to that, though, Ross Stanley’s roller-rink Hammond organ isn’t the only multi-toned instrument doing stuff here, as Rollins is an expert at trombone multiphonics, that is to say he gets two notes out of the instrument at a time utilizing a vocal technique that’s apparently difficult for people to grasp. The whiz-bang is gotten out of the way first, in “Samba Galactica,” wherein Rollins and Stanley match each other in a marathon of progressive brain-teasing lines that speaks to the advantages of, you know, being able to read music. But that stuff’s a lot of work, and so soon enough it’s one or the other guy holding down the fort while the other solos, the real acid test of the experiment. If the talents of these dudes were just a notch lower than this I couldn’t really recommend it to anyone who doesn’t really dig Hammond (try Rhodes next time, maybe?), and there ya go. A- —Eric W. Saeger






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