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05/08/12

Dennis Rollins Velocity Trio
The 11th Gate
Motema

British trombonist Dennis Rollins deftly blends electronics, virtuosity and a fondness for groove on this dynamic trio project. Joined by Hammond B3 organist Ross Stanley and the slamming young Portuguese drummer Pedro Segundo, Rollins comes out with driving intensity on the funk-fusion opener, “Samba Galactica.” “Emergence” is underscored by Segundo’s simmering swing factor and features some fiery hard-bop soloing by Stanley and Rollins. “Ujamma” is a curious cross between old-school grease and technological edge, courtesy of Rollins’ dramatic use of a harmonizer. “The Big Chill” has his trombone filtered through a wah-wah pedal, and his tribute to Eddie Harris, segueing from the laidback boogaloo “Listen Here” to a frantic run through “Freedom Jazz Dance,” is a showstopper. Most moving, though, is the solemn, gospel-tinged title track, which finds Rollins blowing expressively over a lush overdubbed trombone choir.

Originally published in April 2012
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