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Nick Dunston: Atlantic Extraction (Out of Your Head)

A review of the debut album for the bassist-led quintet

Nick Dunston, Atlantic Extraction
The cover of Atlantic Extraction by Nick Dunston

Nick Dunston didn’t have a particular ensemble sound in his head when he built his new quintet last year. He just hoped a handful of committed improvisers would naturally morph into a working band, sharing their savvy and collectively shaping a music that deep-sixed the constraints of idiom. Guess what? Dude’s dream came true. Atlantic Extraction’s debut is an engaging date that offers unique vista after unique vista, coming on like a suite regardless of how far-flung any of its individual elements seem to be. 

The young bassist, who has swooped onto the New York jazz scene with surprising velocity in the last two years, has myriad interests. So the terrain of this program’s 16 tracks is in constant flux; his embrace of modern classical and abstract improv lingos informs many of the vignettes. A guitar/flute/drums/violin/bass outfit has innumerable textures to investigate, and Team Dunston’s curiosity gets the green light at every turn. Plus, those experimental gambits are bolstered by several arrangement insights. 

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Jim Macnie

Jim Macnie is a music writer who contributes to DownBeat and blogs at Lament For a Straight Line. He’s been working in digital media since since 2000, initially as VH1.com’s Managing Editor and, currently, as a Senior Producer and Editor at Vevo. He enjoys Little Jimmie Dickens, Big Joe Turner and Medium Medium.