Weird happens. It happens all over the place. It happens in nature, it happens in society, it happens most certainly in art. Weirdness definitely happens in jazz, even moreso when the instruments are electric. Dr. MiNT — the decade-old quintet of trumpeter Daniel Rosenboom, saxophonist Gavin Templeton, guitarist Alexander Noice, bassist Sam Minaie, and drummer Caleb Dolister — is most certainly in the weird category. Their latest album, Voices in the Void, is proof of this.
Music of this bent has few parallels. One could look at 80s Threadgill, or James Blood Ulmer, or the current work of Landon Knoblock for a sound in this similar vein. There is a rhythm and a bounce that keeps heads nodding in the midst of the cacophony. It’s also a sound for very specific tastes. In that regard, this is what makes Dolister’s drumming so essential, without it, these “melodies” are practically unlistenable. Something must tie this group together into the palatable, especially one that has been around for a decade. Their ability to create extemporaneously helps, but it’s the ability to make these extemporaneous creations palatable that give this group an endearing factor. They’re playing rock-influenced electronic jazz and they’re going all out, constraints be damned.
The rigor and vitality in these songs — the pop of “spacerobot[dance]”, the grunge of “The [Two][Three] Sun Erupts”, the gallup of “Fanfare Mécanique”, the all out onslaught of “Nymbists” — together make up an exciting 40 minute album with an energy that can be rather infectious for those willing the catch the disease. It’s an album to endure, but less trying for those with these sorts of tastes. Yet for those who want things not quite free and perhaps just a touch punk, Voices in the Void is the album folks are looking for..
Voices in the Void, the fifth album from the quintet Dr. MiNT, is out now on Orenda Records.
Daniel Rosenboom – Trumpet
Gavin Templeton – Saxophones
Alexander Noice – Electric Guitar & FX
Sam Minaie – Electric Bass & FX
Caleb Dolister – Drums
Nextbop Editor-in-Chief Anthony Dean-Harris hosts the modern jazz radio show, The Line-Up, Fridays at 9pm CST on 91.7 FM KRTU San Antonio and is also a contributing writer to DownBeat Magazine and the San Antonio Current.