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Waking Dreams by Chris Dingman

After performing with modern day pioneers and revered mainstream jazz artists, vibist Chris Dingman steps out with a fascinating and irrefutably, enlivening debut solo release. Framed upon his personal life amid the highs and lows spanning the past decade, Dingman parallels the emotive element during these seamlessly engineered works that interweave into a persuasive narrative.

Inward looking, extroverted, joyous and featuring various modes of tension and release undercurrents, the vibist injects melodic overtones and enjoys stimulating improvisational segments with the soloists. Dingman seeds a broad plane of sentiment via layered clusters or deftly articulated linear phrasings, and generates a flotation-like flow within numerous movements.

Dingman fuses the program with bustling vistas, shifting rhythms and complex unison choruses. It's an organic but at times, hard-hitting set, where the band erects a colorific sequence of events, tempered by pensive moments. Hence, the artist's striking conveyance of realism through art is to be honored.

"Waking Dreams" is a piece that flourishes with renewed hope and energy, sparked by Fabian Almazan's perky electric piano voicings and drummer Joe Brown's peppery pulse. Here, saxophonist Loren Stillman's breezy and spirited solo offers a complementary dialogue to the leader's brisk phrasings as the band revisits the primary theme for the finale, and proclaims a sense of closure to a deep-rooted plot.

Each piece stands on its own. With the "Same Coin," Erica Von Kleist's whispery flute lines transmit a sense of comfort. However, the musicians mix it and up the ante throughout the album. Dingman's eminent craft proceeds on "Clear the Rain," which is driven by a succinct melody, diminutive ostinato motif, and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire's regal notes over the top.

In accordance with his solid compositional pen, Dingman imparts a mark of authenticity on his debut recording. From a personal standpoint, he embeds a flow of circumstances, both positive and negative into the grand schema and sets the stage for an outing that gushes with lucid imagery and sustainable theme-building platforms. He raises the bar on Waking Dreams. No doubt, it's a lyrically resplendent masterpiece that resides in the upper echelon of modern-day jazz expositions.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Chris Dingman
  • CD Title: Waking Dreams
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2011
  • Record Label: Independent
  • Musicians: Ambrose Akinmusire: trumpet; Loren Stillman: saxophones; Fabian Almazan: piano; Joe Sanders: bass; Justin Brown: drums; Chris Dingman: vibraphone; Ryan Ferreira: guitar (3); Erica Von Kleist: flute (2, 8); Mark Small: bass clarinet (8)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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