Dennis González Yells At Eels - Red Blood
Gonzalez’s music – featuring his sons Aaron Gonzalez (bass), and Stefan Gonzalez (drums, percussion) – serves as the antidote to the worn out situation where many jazz musicians are more concerned with rummaging through tricky time signatures and placing compositional form in the backseat. No doubt, Gonzalez’ artistry resides in the upper echelon of the multifaceted jazz vernacular.
— All About Jazz
After recording a series of stunning, stellar dates for Silkheart, Koch, Konnex, Gowi, Music and Arts, and daagnimRecords in the 80’s and early 90’s – with leaders and sidemen including Charles Brackeen, Andrew Cyrille, Fred Hopkins, Malachi Favors, Carlos Ward, Louis Moholo, Keith Tippett (of King Crimson), Elton Dean (of Soft Machine), Nels Cline, Olu Dara, Nils Petter Molvaer, Roy Hargrove, and Douglas Ewart, avant jazz legend Dennis González left the world of music for 5 long years.
He returned in 1999 with a new resolve and a new trio, Yells At Eels. The trio was made up of González on trumpets, keyboards, and samples; his bass-playing son, Aaron; and his younger son, Stefan, on drums. Aaron and Stefan had worked together in their own duo, Akkolyte, and proposed the trio to their dad. The eight months that followed were a rehearsal for things to come, playing with special guests poet-laureate Yusef Komunyakaa, New Orleans saxist Tim Green, and Dallas-based pianist Scott Bucklin. In January of 2000, they began the recording of their first CD, Home, which was released in June of that same year.
The next 10 years, the trio would travel all over the United States, Canada, and Europe playing their new sounds for large and small audiences alike. Their special guests were truly special: Oliver Lake, Douglas Ewart, The Micro-East Collective, George Cartwright, Clyde Kerr, Jr., Tim Green, Bill Pohl, James Harvey, Mike Khoury, Travis Laplante, Andrew Lamb, Assif Tsahar, Alvin Fielder, Rodrigo Amado, Sabir Mateen, Mark Taylor, Matt Lavelle, Patrick Holmes, Carl Smith, Ken Filiano, Famoudou Don Moye, and David Boykin.
Their second CD, a double issue, was recorded live in Minneapolis (Home Away from Home with Douglas Ewart and George Cartwright) and in the studio in Dallas and New Orleans (Pictogram with Tim Green, Scott Bucklin, and Bill Pohl). International coverage of this trio poured in from Citizen Jazz in Brussels, Echoes in London, Signal to Noise in Vermont, One Final Note in Minneapolis, The Dallas Morning News, Zeitgeist in New Orleans, Paris Transatlantic in Paris, and many other sources.
In 2005, they played three nights in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the Vancouver Jazz Festival and undertook an East Coast tour, during which they played the prestigious Vision Festival in New York and then took off for their grand European summer tour. Their third CD was released in May of 2006, and was titled Geografía, and the trio played a great part in the success of the internationally acclaimed CD, A Measure of Vision, by Mississippi jazz drumming legend Alvin Fielder, released on the Portuguese jazz label Clean Feed in 2006.
An augmented line-up including Alvin Fielder, Chris Parker, and Leena Conquest, released a new CD, entitled The Gift of Discernment, in spring of 2008 on the renowned Polish record label, Not Two Records. In conjunction with this, Yells At Eels did a tour of Poland with Portugese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado. And in 2011 they toured Poland once again with the renowned Polish bass player Wojtek Mazolewski. A new 7” release has emerged from this tour, Wind Streaks in Syrtis Major. Ayler Records in France has also released two other Yells At Eels CD’s, Cape of Storms with the legendary South African drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo, and Resurrection and Life, also with drummer Alvin Fielder. They also released a CD in 2010 called The Hymn Project with Norwegian contrabassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten.
Dennis González has played in the church and on the international jazz stage for many years and is a published poet, language and music teacher, musician – composer, visual artist, and was a well-known on-air personality for KERA Channel 13 and KERA 90.1 FM for 21 years. Aaron and Stefan continue making music as a duo and in their own groups, as well as being the rhythm section for the Portuguese group. Humanization 4tet.< Yells At Eels (who Ariel Pink chooses to call "Added Pizzazz" when they record with him) has collaborated on 3 projects with Ariel over the past 2 years. The Secret Stages appearance marks the beginning of their 14th year as a group.