Dennis Young

Old Dog: New Tricks

Percussionist Dennis Young’s self-produced disc is a drummer’s delight. Every tune is suffused with Young’s multi-layered rhythms played on an array of bells, drums, cymbals, marimbas and virtually any other instrument that can be tapped, shaken, chimed, beaten or thumped. Anchored by the supple electric-bass guitars of David Axelrod and/or Gerry Carboy, the songs slide along with a beguiling looseness that bespeaks the simmering spontaneity of instantaneous composition. Young wrote and sings the words, and his delivery and production at times are reminiscent of Brian Eno’s mid-’70s work with Robert Fripp. Melodic instruments—guitar, electric violin, piano, trumpet and assorted synthesizers—are used sparingly and tastefully to accentuate and support the vocal and rhythm tracks, seldom coming out front to dominate the ambient flux of sound. But when they do, such as in Michael Gribbrock’s multi-tracked trumpet solo on “Incandescence” or Jeff Kalmar’s electric guitar on “Future Shock,” the results are superb.