Aaron Dooley


There might not be a better album title that sums up the last few years than Trapped in Purgatory. On the new album from Aaron Dooley the artist finds himself floating between genres — adrift between spiritual jazz propulsion, kosmiche sparkle, and psychedelic flutter. Dooley assembled a group of friends and frequent collaborators for an album that’s primed for the Mwandishi fans, Natural Information Society heads, folklore fiends, and modern composition deep divers alike. While the octet he’s put together flesh this out into a captivating canvas of sound and color, it’s Dooley’s bass that tapes it all down. The circular, loping lines reverberate through each piece. He’s propulsive in one moment, patient and padding down the hallways of the mind in the next.

The success of his ability to cross-pollinate genre is a testament to Dooley’s compositional acumen. Where the first track locks its fingernails into the fringes of spiritual jazz, the mix of deep forest folk traditions and middle eastern psych on “Lingering” somehow lobs the track into Sir Richard Bishop territory, with an odd touch of Bruce Langhorne. It’s sparse, but full of menace in the margins. The songs here build on familiar grounds but the lacing of dobro, dulcimer, and mandolin gives quite a few of the tracks a surprising coloring, finding those tethers between idyllic folk and free jazz like Cherry and the family. “Plainswalking,” even goes so far as to find a touch of Cosmic Americana seeping in through the floorboards, while never feeling like a departure from the overall environment that Dooley’s been cultivating. A lovely record that’s worth picking apart again and again.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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