2018 sees Mercury-nominated Dinosaur back in action with some immensely colourful, new music – full of imagination and surprise.
Their second album is as electrifyingly different as anyone who knows Laura Jurd’s track record would expect. Never one to be labeled, the fearsomely talented and multiple award-winning Jurd has a Miles-like way of taking her work and tuning it to illuminate a vast array of musical worlds. She’s done orchestrated and meticulously composed; jazz rock grooves; electronic minimalism; mainstream jazz and now, with her new album, Wonder Trail, and band Dinosaur, keyboard maestro Elliot Galvin to the fore, she’s plundered the synth-pop of the 1980s for a new sound. But this is not gratuitous borrowing, or any kind of hipsterish, retro post-modernism. For one, these are very current sounds (Broen’s an indie band with similar reference points that comes up in conversation). And for two, Jurd and Galvin use the poptastic-ness of the keyboard sound as a sort of tin opener to get into all kinds of serious musical areas – improvisation, vocodered strangeness, strutting rockishness, bucolic folkiness. But, as with any proper stylistic amalgam, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Wonder Trail, whilst being a stations of the cross tour through an array of musical influences/interests, synthesises the experience (in more ways than one). It’s the use of the synth as the core sound that brings it all together, the other instruments queued in by its stabs and swirls, energised and contextualised. Within, around and over this hovers Jurd’s clear-toned trumpet sound which manages to be hot and cool without any apparent expenditure of energy – poised is the word I suppose, but that belies the power and incisiveness of her improvising and technique.
“While inhaling all matter of electrical jazz—from Miles Davis to Dave Douglas’ High Risk, via Soft Machine and Thundercat—Dinosaur has nevertheless concocted its own dynamically hybridized signature sound.” DOWNBEAT (USA)
“…this beautifully played and effortlessly confident collage of contemporary styles.” 5 STARS, THE GUARDIAN (UK)
“Such a great record!” BBC RADIO 6 MUSIC GILLES PETERSON (UK/INTERNATIONAL)