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Dotsero: Essensual

Denver-based Dotsero returns with Essensual (Ichiban International D2-24884-2; 51:26), another upbeat, economically arranged effort often spotlighting the piping soprano-to-soulful tenor sax chops of Stephen Watts. The tight trio incorporates rock touches and fusion timings into their hooky melodies, achieving a muscular, strutting effect on the funky “Pammy’s Park,” for example. Though the group’s sound is typified by brisk, airy melodies like the wispy, sparse “Latin Sandwiches” and percolating “Joyride,” Dotsero occasionally stretches its boundaries-with mixed results. Venturing further into the rock vein, Dotsero comes up with a solid read of the Jesus Jones alternative hit “Right Here, Right Now,” showcasing David Watts’ rocking guitar through some nice breaks. On the urban side, however, is Essensual’s loudest misstep, “Candlelight,” a synth-drenched R&B cliché.

Originally Published