Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Album Review: Dopolarians - Garden Party

Garden Party
***and1/2 out of *****

The group Dopolarians is a coming together of jazz legends to play in a free form way on Garden Party. The music moves from soothing to angular and challenging as these long time associates traverse a wide range of sound on this collection of tunes. 

The band are Alvin Fielder — Percussion, Kidd Jordan — Tenor Saxophone, William Parker — Bass, Christopher Parker — Piano, Kelley Hurt — Voice and Chad Fowler — Alto Saxophone, Saxello and almost all have played together in some way in the past, but most had not done so in quite some time. The album is a Southern affair, being recorded in New Orleans (only having the bassist Parker from New York) and the relaxed tone speaks to the south but the adventurous playing speaks to everyone.

Opener "C Melody" starts sparse moves to loud, avant-garde style of sounds, lead by percussionist Fielder who doesn't even touch his cymbals until about three and a half minutes in, just thumping the path for all to follow. Unfortunately this would be Fielder's last album as he passed away in 2019, but it is a worthy legacy.

"Dopoloria" is a smoother workout, but still has jagged edges as things squeak and squawk around as pianist Parker moves along under Kelley Hurt's vocal ooh and ahh's dripping directly into the following effort "Father Dies; Son Dies" which keeps the energy while kicking up the rhythmic vibe. 

Hurt's poetic/spoken word vocals are the focal point to start "Garden Party" before the squealing brass and brushed percussion join as the song moves into a more light jazz direction, however, with this group sonic chaos is always just under the surface.

The band plays "Guilty Happy" repeating a motif until happiness almost resembles madness while album closer "Impromptu" moves into free-bop range spiraling all over the place as Jordan's sax and Fielders drums skitter all over the place wrapping up a searching outing, proving there is always more to say in jazz and never enough time. 
Support the band, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:    

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