DOMINIQUE VANTOMME — Vegir (review)

DOMINIQUE VANTOMME — Vegir album cover Album · 2018 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
js
Fusion musicians indulging in a little psychedelic rock is nothing new. Miles Davis’ mid 70s band with Pete Cosey was one of the best psych rock bands ever assembled. Terje Rypdal doesn’t mind dishing out some cosmic grooves now and again, and there is always John McLaughlin’s Hendrix-sounding “Devotion” album with Buddy Miles and Larry Young. You can add Dominique Vantomme’s “Vegir” to that list as it features a quartet of top notch fusion/jazz musicians laying down some of the best inter-stellar rock this side of Ozric Tentacles. The psych rock element figures strongly on “Vegir”. but you also get some Middle-Eastern influenced rhythms, as well as some down tempo type grooves and more. “Playing Chess with Barney Rubble” features a post bop drive with a pronounced backbeat along the lines of Jack DeJohnette. All of these different rhythms are topped with free flowing jazzy solos and/or wall to wall electronic ambience and hallucinogenic drift.

The best parts of this album happen when the solos are going down. Speaking of Pete Cosey, guitar maestro Michel Delville spins out some of the snarliest fret work since the passing of Master Pete. Dominique’s echoed Fender Rhodes rides are also a treat. The times when they rely on just sound and groove without the solos can sound good for a while, but left to this too long, you start missing the energy of the solos. The tempos range from medium to deliberately slow, often recalling the atmosphere of an electronica chill mix. Many of the songs have multi-part arrangements giving the album some of that ‘epic’ prog rock vastness. If psych rock meets fusion is your sort of thing, this album should do the trick. There is a mature cohesion in presentation and production on “Vegir” that puts it a cut above others who may try the same type sound.
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