Chris Dingman’s Waking Dreams

Chris Dingman’s Waking Dreams is a very big, pleasant surprise. I’d never heard of Dingman, who plays vibes and composed all but one of the CD’s 14 tracks. The label, Between World Music, is Dingman’s own, and this is its only release (usually a bad sign). I must confess that I probably put it on at all only after noticing that one of the musicians playing on the album (the only one in the sextet whose work I know) was Ambrose Akinmusire, the most exciting new trumpeter on the scene. And well, as I said, what a surprise.

This is bracing music, with complex rhythms, brooding harmonies, but also crisp melodic hooks, and an underlying lyricism: a quiet, sometimes majestic beauty.

It’s engaging from the start, but I must say, I wasn’t taken in completely till Track 4, “Manhattan Bridge,” a haunting ballad that rings with romance, melancholy, wistfulness, and hope all at once. (Maybe I’m projecting, but listen for yourself.)

The spell doesn’t break until the last track, a clunky stab at jazz-and-poetry. (Push the Stop button before you get there.)

All the musicians play with a surefooted ease and, when it’s called for, intensity. Akinmusire is, as expected, very good but he doesn’t stand out from the rest. The sound quality is generally quite good: the vibes, piano, and horns ring out, clear and dynamic, though the bass is a bit buried and the drums sound out of phase.

Still, Dingman is a leader worth following. (The CD seems to be available only from his website; Amazon sells only an MP3 version and, as I write this, a used copy of the CD that some joker is offering for one billion dollars.)

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ctbarker32's picture
Available on in full lossless fidelity

It should be noted that this music can  be downloaded on the increasingly interesting web site in numerous formats including full fidelity lossless Flac for the very reasonable price of $9.99 which is a 40% discount to the CD price not including any shipping charges as well.

I am discovering a lot of great music on these days and really appreciate the flexible pricing model and lossless codecs.


WillWeber's picture
must be really good!!

You can get it used right now on Amazon from silverplatters for a handsome price of $1,000,000,000.00  (plus $2.99 shipping, surely a deal breaker)

Seriously, that's the only current available option at Amazon. If I had a copy I'd only ask $999M just to undercut them by a million.

rastanearian's picture

I found it on Napster.  It is compressed but a good representation. I love Napster as a try before you buy option.

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