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Vitamin D | Build Another (Landlocked)
It takes a lot of willpower to sit through a recording where the trumpet is the main instrument. Think Eddie Calvert, Mariachi, the trumpet voluntary - the instrument doesn't have the sassiness of the sax, the ethereal quality of the flute or the eerie, earthy quality of the oboe. Trouble with the trumpet, there's little opportunity to be discreet - you blow, a sound comes out and that's it. It kind of dominates the track. That's the trouble with Vitamin D, essentially a vehicle for trumpeter/vocalist Dennis Cronin. It's not that Cronin doesn't have an excellent pedigree; he studied jazz under Ellis Marsalis; wrote a Sonata for Trumpet while at school and managed to acquire a degree in mechanical engineering while he pursued his musical dream. Along the way he has toured Europe with Lambchop, Chesnutt, Calexico and Yo La Tengo. The result of all this experience is 'Build Another' - twelve tracks that straddle jazz, rock, country, folk and the avant garde. When it works, it works very well - as in Findable, with its shuffling beat - and the title track, which really does build on a foundation of waltz-like rhythm. Trouble is, Cronin, who plays trumpet, guitar and handles vocals, doesn't have the strongest of voices. Add to that, the interjection of trumpet on certain tracks actually detracts. Where he follows a more traditional path - utilising fiddle, keyboards etc., and downplaying the trumpet, the results are quite appealing. But, and it's a big but, there's too little of that and too much jazzy leanings. Trumpets and rock don't make easy bedfellows. Maybe Cronin can find the courage to throw the instrument away and try something different. He's certainly got the skill and ideas; indeed, many of the tracks are very listenable, apart from that ...trumpet. If I'd wanted Mexican I would have ordered a burrito.

John Stacey
November-December 2004

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