ERNEST DAWKINS' NEW HORIZONS ENSEMBLE
The Messenger - Live at the Original Velvet Lounge CD / DVD

[Delmark, www.delmark.com]

Recorded mere months before Fred Anderson's historic Velvet Lounge closed its doors in Chicago [it will reopen soon at a new location], "The Messenger" sees Ernest Dawkins and his New Horizons Ensemble scorching hot, breathing fire in all of their uncontained glory. Featuring a stunning cast of players - trumpeter Maurice Brown, trombonist Steve Berry, bassist Darius Savage, drummer Isaiah Spencer along with Dawkins on tenor and alto saxophones - the recording made back on July 14th of last year was also caught on tape and released as a stunning document on DVD. Spectacular in its tenacity to always push the envelope forward, Dawkins engages his Ensemble in a variety of longish compositions that once again show him at the top of his game. As a composer, he's always been thoughtful and caring in the way he chooses to address the variety of his players' strengths. What has now become a staple of the band's repertoire, "Mean Ameen" [a tribute to the Ensemble's trumpeter, Ameen Muhammad, who passed away a couple of years ago] sees some powerful soloing from trumpeter Maurice Brown along with trombonist Steve Berry. With a ton of space for interplay, Brown and Berry take a number of energetic solos together as a mini-duo within the band. Brown is a clean player - little spittle and all fire. He concentrates on the upper register during his solos and the intent is on a smooth flow in the action at hand. Rhythm section is a killer. Darius Savage on bass and percussionist Isaiah Spencer play some tight passages together, as in the case on the blues-soaked number "Goin' Downtown Blues", which incidentally features some wild vocalizing from the leader himself. Dawkins is his usual cheerful self, playing his sax with all the energy in his body, producing such intense moments of zeal, you'd think this guy was actually playing in a church choir. Ameen Muhammad piece "Looking for Ninny" is one fast and furious New Orleans blues stomp that at times reminds me of David Murray's better days with his band [circa "Flowers for Albert" or "Morning Song"]. Picture on the DVD is crisp - you can in fact follow along the beads of sweat dripping from the band members' faces. So much joy was in the house at the Velvet Lounge that hot July night. Everything in fact spells joy and a good karma all around. DVD features a couple of extra pieces not found on the CD release, but sadly there is little in terms of extra material. Documentary on the Ensemble or Ameen Muhammad would have been fitting or perhaps a behind the looks at the Velvet Lounge. Blues, dripping with jazz with a healthy dash of improvisation thrown in for good measure, "The Messenger" sees the New Horizons Ensemble firmly state their case in a venue that was once a home to legends.

- Tom Sekowski


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RECENZJE

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+ Past Present Future
+ Total 7
+ Peeping Tom - Peeping Tom
+ Asmus Tietchens - Geboren, um zu Dienen
+ Silverware
+ Anthony Rother - Super Space Model
+ Spank Rock - YoYoYoYoYo
+ Radio 4 - Enemies Like This
+ Primal Scream - Riot City Blues
+ The Presets - Beams
+ Oakenfold - A Lively Mind
+ Nitzer Ebb - Body Of Work
+ Mummer - SoulOrganismState
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest & The Sea
+ Follow The Leader
+ Killing Joke - Hosannas From The Basements Of Hell
+ Hassle Hound - Limelight Cordial
+ Gigolo Showcase No. 9
+ Garden - Round & Round
+ The Futureheads - News And Tributes
+ Fovea Hex - Huge
+ No-Neck Blues Band & Embryo - Embryonnck
+ Ekkehard Ehlers - A Life Without Fear
+ Current 93 - Black Ships Ate The Sky
+ The Whitest Boy Alive - Dreams
+ F.S. Blumm - Summer Kling
+ Aidan Baker - Oneiromancer
+ Atari Teenage Riot - 1992 - 2000
+ DJ 3000 - Migration
+ Thom Yorke - The Eraser
+ Eremite Records - drobny asumpt do większej eksploracji
+ Midlake - The Trials Of Van Occupanther
+ Grandaddy - Just Like the Fambly Cat
+ Hati - Mantra - I. Prehistory of Hati: vol. 1
+ Arol Wulf-Zendik - You've Been Gone
+ Joseph Holbrooke Trio - The Moat Recordings
+ Keiji Haino - Global Ancient Atmosphere

- - - - - - - - -

+ MICHAEL VINER'S INCREDIBLE BONGO BAND - Bongo Rock
+ OWL XOUNDS EXPLODING GALAXY - The Myth of Time - An Elastic Experience
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+ IRENE SCHWEIZER - First Choice - Piano Solo KKL Luzern
+ THE NECKS - Chemist
+ TUNNG - Mother's Daughter and Other Songs / The Pioneers
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+ HENRIK RYLANDER - Formation
+ MICHAEL MARCUS TRIO - Soulifications / THE COSMOSAMATICS - Magnitudes
+ DEEP BLUE ORGAN TRIO - Goin' To Town - Live at the Green Mill CD / DVD
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Re-Bop: The Savoy Remixes / THE BASEMENT BOYS PRESENT MUDBOY JONES - The Basement Boys Present Mudboy Jones
>> ERNEST DAWKINS' NEW HORIZONS ENSEMBLE - The Messenger - Live at the Original Velvet Lounge CD / DVD
+ LUC FERRARI - Son Memorise
+ UTE VOLKER - Anthrazit - Akkordeon Solo
+ MUMMER - SoulOrganismState
+ JOHN PEEL AND SHEILA - The Pig's Big 78s - A Beginner's Guide
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+ KAMMERFLIMMER KOLLEKTIEF - Remixed
+ ONE SECOND BRIDGE - One Second Bridge / MARSEN JULES - Les Fleurs
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Musics in the Margin
+ ANDRE GONCALVES & KENNETH KIRSCHNER - Resonant Objects
+ WHIT DICKEY - Sacred Ground / DENNIS GONZALEZ BOSTON PROJECT - No Photograph Available
+ PIMMON - Secret Sleeping Birds
+ GARDEN - Round & Round
+ CARL HANCOCK RUX - Good Bread Alley
+ NOW ORCHESTRA & MARILYN CRISPELL - Pola
+ EVAN PARKER TRIO & PETER BROTZMANN TRIO - The Bishop's Move
+ LIBERTY ELLMAN - Ophiuchus Butterfly
+ CARNIVAL SKIN - Carnival Skin
+ ROVA - Totally Spinning

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WYWIADY / RELACJE

+ New direction of techno - interview with Franki Juncaj aka DJ 3000
+ Bez premedytacji - rozmowa z Andrzejem 'Kobrą' Kraińskim [Kobranocka]
+ Nowy wymiar - rozmowa z Natalią Grosiak i Dawidem Korbaczyńskim [Mikromusic]
+ Szczerość uczuć - rozmowa z Robertem Kałużą [Lotyń]