Friday, December 30, 2016

Dinosaur - Together, As One (Edition Records, 2016)

This is the first album from the jazz fusion group Dinosaur, led by Laura Jurd on trumpet and synthesizer, along with Elliot Galvin on fender rhodes electric piano and hammond organ, Conor Chaplin on electric bass and Corrie Dick on drums. The music is bright and vibrant, combining the energy of rock music with the intricacy of modern jazz. The album begins with "Awakening," which comes forth with some nice strong brass and electric piano. There is thick, substantial bass present as well as solidly rhythmic drums which allow the music to unfold in an episodic nature. "Robin" has some freaky keyboard textures buoyed by more robust bass and sharp drums giving a choppy feel to the music. Jurd plays ripe trumpet over electric piano, bass and drums, developing a potent solo over the glistening keyboards. Swirling electronics usher in "Living, Breathing" which gives way to a majestic trumpet feature for the leader over thick bass and drums. The music becomes faster and louder, developing a powerful modern fusion sound with exciting punchy trumpet soloing over a broad groove. "Underdog" and "Steadily Sinking" are shorter tracks, which have the keyboards and electronics phasing in and out and droning, developing overdriven textures that add variety to the group's sound. The bass, drums and trumpet develop an open and parched sound when opening "Extinct" before the music slowly fills in and develops. Organ gradually builds to frame the other three instruments, as the bass and drums congeal. The organ swirls and the bass rumbles as the band awakens and begins to roar like the titular Dinosaur, becoming quite animated and dramatic. "Primordial" is rhythmic, choppy music that makes great haste in the full band's development of the theme and improvisation. There is a punching and weaving bass foundation with active drumming and strong trumpet. Raw and overwrought keyboards move the whole mass inexorably forward amidst bubbling bass and pointed drumming. This was a well done album by an interesting and dynamic band. With the strong electric element and tight bass and drums, this group has the potential to develop into a band that can reach far beyond the nominal jazz fan base. Together, As One -

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