Dayramir Gonzalez

The Grand Concourse

The Grand Course is a tour de force. As writer, arranger, pianist, leader and guiding spirit of this sensational project, Dayramir Gonzalez exhibits complete command.

Most of the uptempo tracks balance complexity and momentum, feeding, rather than making things harder, for each other. It begins with “Smiling,” the perfect opener. Gonzalez states the theme at the top, dancing nimbly through myriad meters. The horns punch key points in the rhythm, punctuated by brief solo drum moments. The writing and playing are breathtaking. Three works stand out as homages to love. Each begin with Gonzalez, playing with a reflective blues touch in memory of his late brother Daymell on “Blood Brothers” and with nuance on “Lovely Time With My Dear.” String sections join in on both; they complement his concept, but leave the listener wishing the bandleader might perform alone—a wish that he fulfills on the lovely “Hand And Hand, You And I.”

Special mention must be made of the photography and quotations accompanying each song in the liner notes. These words come from Gandhi, Lao Tzu, Brahms, Victor Hugo—a stellar assembly, as are those few young jazz artists who might qualify as Gonzalez’s peers.

On Sale Now
December 2022
Kenny Barron
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