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Chris Dingman: Waking Dreams

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Vibraphonist-composer Chris Dingman recruited trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, pianist Fabian Almazan, bassist Joe Sanders, drummer Justin Brown and saxophonist Loren Stillman to help him realize this darkly revealing and transcendent music. From the serenity of the opening “Vijayanagara” to the urgent and dissonant “Jet Lag” and the tender ballad “Manhattan Bridge,” Dingman has successfully captured the myriad moods of his conscious and unconscious life. There’s a tinge of melancholy to “Indian Hill,” on which Stillman blows plaintive soprano sax. The luminous sound of vibes carries the uplifting “Same Coin,” and Stillman digs in on “Shift in the Wind,” which gradually builds to a dynamic crescendo. The intimate solo vibes piece “Reflection” is a palette cleanser before the turbulent “Clear the Rain,” on which Akinmusire, Almazan and Brown engage in a dynamic dance. “Zaneta” swings effervescently, and the closer, “Epilogue: Stillness,” features spoken-word recitation by Dingman backed by Almazan’s gentle accompaniment.

Originally Published