Dennis Rollins Velocity Trio –The 11th Gate
(Motéma 233437. CD Review by Chris Parker)
Sparked by his friend Courtney Pine’s question: ‘Is it possible to present a trombone-led organ trio, reflecting your musical influences and styles?’, this latest album by trombonist/composer Dennis Rollins filters his main influences, among them Larry Young, Steve Coleman, Jimmy Bossche and Julian Priester – but also non-jazz figures such as Maceo Parker, Bob Marley and even Pink Floyd – through his own distinctive musical sensibility, honed by decades of experience taking his funky jazz message to ever increasing audiences in Europe and beyond.
As author and journalist Willard Jenkins points out in a glowing liner-note tribute, Rollins is a man possessed of a ‘brass-proud’ approach, a ‘wealth of tone’ and an ability to utilise multi-phonics, and he uses all his technical and imaginative resources on this bright, celebratory album, on which he is joined by Hammond organist Ross Stanley and drummer Pedro Segundo.
The result is an irresistibly enjoyable set of ten in-band originals and one classic (Eddie Harris’s ‘Freedom Jazz Dance’), many employing electronically harmonised ‘bone theme statements, but all infused with the robust but carefully calibrated energy and rich, intensely human tone characteristic of all Rollins’s work.
Funkily danceable, but with enough subtlety and elegance to reward repeated (seated) listening, The 11th Gate is a tasty appetiser for Rollins’s forthcoming LJF appearance (Forge, Camden, 17 November).