Dennis Rollins’ Velocity Trio
(Kings Place Hall Two, Part of The Base series. June 4th 2011. Review and photo credit: Roger Thomas)
The instrumentation of this trombone-led trio, with drums and Hammond is certainly rare, and may even be unique. But Dennis Rollins’ take-no-prisoners performance, backed up by the funky ballistics of Pedro Segundo and the grinding groove of Ross Stanley, gave us excitement right from the get-go, with an opener ‘Hot To Trot’ which lived up to its name.
‘The Grass Seems Greener On The Other Side’ had all three stretching out to give us a beatiful vision. Pedro played a mischievous intro with stick and mallets before Dennis flipped a switch on his array of electronic boxes to incorporate a sampled groove. The transformation was complete when Ross added a deep grooving organ for Dennis to ride over like a shifting herd of elephants sauntering through a lush grassland.
Whether it be the spiritual overtones of Pink Floyd’s A Great Day For Freedom or Eddie Harris’ Freedom Jazz Dance and definitely ‘The Big Chill’, a kaleidoscope of moods and shifts in tempo blended with some subtle electronic gadgetry made for a very exciting and larger than life sound.
Dennis Rollins plays with energy, clarity and precision. He has the backup of formidable sidemen, and there is never a dull moment. With a new album planned for release on 11th November, which just happens to be Dennis’ birthday, I’m sure he has some interesting treats in store for us.
UPDATE: Dennis Rollins’ Management have sent in a list of forthcoming live dates for the trio
18 June: Corsham Jazz Festival, Wiltshire
25 June – Hebden Bridge Jazz Festival
30 June – Glasgow Int’l Jazz festival
1 July – The Tolbooth, Stirling
2 July – The Coliseum, Whitby
3 July – Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (supporting Ramsey Lewis)
23 July – Hull Jazz Festival @ Hull Civic Theatre
11 November – Millennium Hall, Sheffield
12 November @ The Edge, Shropshire
16 November – Ropetackle Arts Festival, Shoreham-by-Sea
17 November – London Jazz Festival @ The Forge, Camden
3 December – The Old Fire Station, Oxford
10 December – Taliesen Arts Centre, Swansea