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Chris Dingman Journeys Vol. 2 (Self-Released)

Comprised entirely of solo pieces with minimal effects, Dingman's new album is soul music that elevates and heals.

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Cover of Journeys Vol. 2

Vibraphonist Chris Dingman has always been a thoughtful musician, his unique, kinetic style providing both emotional uplift and meditative escape. With his new album, Journeys Vol. 2, Dingman turns from pure jazz musician into shaman, seer, comforter, advisor, lover, leader, friend. Comprised entirely of solo pieces with minimal effects, the collective material and its cyclic titles: “Transit,” “Ride,” “Dream, Ever Dream,” “Enter,” “Return,” take the listener on a journey so pliable and elastic, one can almost choose his/her own entry/departure point, so freeing and oddly comforting is the music. 

Journeys Vol. 2 is influenced in part by Dingman’s study of mbira, the African thumb piano, evidenced in the album’s non-grid-like repetitions that equally soothe and penetrate. It’s also influenced by the time Dingman spent playing while his father was in hospice care, five hours of which were compiled on his 2020 solo debut, Peace. After that, he began performing in spaces geared toward meditation, sound healing, and spiritual practice. He even began a series of virtual performances called Transformations, during which viewers explained the issues and hardships they’re facing, and Dingman turned those thoughts into music. 

Like the music of Wayne Shorter, or the beauty of animals at play, or the freeing feelings obtained from meditation, massage, or worship, this is true soul/spirit/body music: shimmering, glowing, elevating, healing. 

Ken Micallef

Ken Micallef was once a jazz drummer; then he found religion and began writing about jazz rather than performing it. (He continues to air-drum jazz rhythms in front of his hi-fi rig and various NYC bodegas.) His reportage has appeared in Time Out, Modern Drummer, DownBeat, Stereophile, and Electronic Musician. Ken is the administrator of Facebook’s popular Jazz Vinyl Lovers group, and he reviews vintage jazz recordings on YouTube as Ken Micallef Jazz Vinyl Lover.