Dennis Gonzalez Quartet | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Dennis Gonzalez Quartet

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New jazz is alive and well in Dallas of all places, and. you can lay much of the blame on Dennis Gonzalez; as founder of the Dallas Association for Avant-Garde and Neo-Impressionist Music (aka daagnim), he acts as concert promoter, record producer, and guiding light for a surprisingly busy phalanx of innovative musicians. He also performs, and you could easily go hear him in Chicago just for the novelty of it. (After all, multinstrumentalists who live in the middle of Texas sporting avant-gardist tendencies as a matter of predilection constitute a fairly small gene pool: you might want to see what one looks like.) But let me suggest other attractions. First, Gonzalez is reputed to play 49 instruments: the list is topped off by trumpet and flugelhorn, with reeds, vibes, and an assortment of ethnic tools rounding out the mix. Second, he plays them with authority, and uses the wide range of instrumental colors to construct his musical tales in something approaching CinemaScope. Third, Gonzalez has a genuine musical vision that unifies the whole kit and caboodle, and it stretches from the straight-ahead to the flyaway. In Chicago he'll hook up with reedman Douglas Ewart, bassist Yosef ben Israel, and drummer Hamid Drake, and you can bet it won't be boring. Saturday, 8 PM, Ruiz Belvis Center, 1632 N. Milwaukee; 667-1469.

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