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Anteloper: Pink Dolphins (International Anthem)

A review of the duet band's album that scales from jazz to punkish anarchy and psychedelia

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Anteloper: Pink Dolphins (International Anthem)
The cover of Pink Dolphins by Anteloper

Anyone familiar with the big-hearted pugnacity of trumpeter jaimie branch will appreciate the name of her duet band beside drummer/synth player Jason Nazary. An “anteloper” seems like an obvious portmanteau of antelope and interloper: a large horned animal inserting itself where it doesn’t belong, but dispelling any awkwardness by being remarkably sure-footed on most any terrain.

Pink Dolphins is fearless in scaling from jazz to punkish anarchy and psychedelia because branch is a kindred spirit to both jazz and punk and Nazary can deliver beats that could propel bop or drum ’n’ bass while turning knobs to change the ambient atmosphere. On “Inia,” Nazary turns the mood from foreboding to playful, while branch bursts forth on trumpet like an elephant emerging from the savannah.

Two other songs, “Delfin Rosado” and “Baby Bota Halloceanation,” capture the often imitated, rarely realized sound of Miles Davis’ seminal fusion. Guitarist Jeff Parker does for Pink Dolphins what curator/producer Teo Macero did for those Miles sessions: culling and tweaking large pots of stew into more distinguished, tangible servings. On “Earthlings,” he loops two choice improvised nuggets and adds some filigreed guitar to a bluesy mix that is unfortunately dominated by some semi-sensical talk-sung words and rhymes from branch.

The nearly 15-minute closer, “One Living Genus,” may test the patience of those invigorated by the first section’s spectral psychedelic effects and dazzled by the second section’s heavy metal overlay; the third section evolves into a drone that beats down like a desert sun for the last five minutes. No matter: “This is the shit we want to be playing on big-ass systems. Omnivorous, energy space time, mosh pit dance-music. Get it in the subwoofers so you can feel it hit,” branch said about Pink Dolphins overall. Spoken like a true Anteloper.


Learn more about Pink Dolphins at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Jaimie Branch on “Brass Chillers”

Jason Nazary Combines the Synthetic and the Real