Dwight Trible & The Life Force Trio
Love Is the Answer
os Angeles-based DJ/producer Carlos Niño has had his hands full lately. On top of hosting his weekly KPFK radio show “Spaceways,” Niño has also managed to make time for his own Ammoncontact venture as well as a few side projects. Among these projects is Dwight Trible & The Life Force Trio. Trible, a veteran jazz session vocalist, has attained a cult status in certain Los Angeles circles. His deep, prideful belt is much akin to the heyday of Sun Ra and Pharoah Sanders, the latter of whom Trible participates with in the Pharoah Sanders Quartet.
The premise for Love Is the Answer, according to Trible, was to make “a record the young folks can dance to.” Niño curated the record, producing and co-producing several songs himself, and offering the rest of the production duties to an all-star cast of leftfield hip-hop’s more prolific beatmakers: Madlib, J Dilla, Daedelus, SA-RA Creative Partners, GB, etc. Whether your tastes for Love Is the Answer teeter closer to the vocal jazz stylings of Trible himself or the otherworldly beat textures of his producers, the album ties these two sounds together fairly seamlessly.
Trible tends to sound something like a neo Mary Lou Williams hovering over tribal extraterrestrial topographies and Sahara-inspired natural scenery, occasionally accompanied by a local MC or gospel-esque R&B choir. The album’s production talent has managed to effectively capture the fundamental nature of Trible’s brand of avant jazz without sacrificing a tight pop structure and hip-hop framework.
Next to the work of those producers, though, it’s hard to say that Trible’s contributions are anything more than nominal. It’s not that his output is dire or unneeded, but it becomes somewhat unclear exactly how much of the album is truly his. Perhaps the album would have sounded dramatically different without the assistance of his collaborators. The album’s unmistakable hip-hop backbone would no doubt be quite dimmed. But petty quirks aside, Love Is the Answer essentially does exactly what it’s supposed to: provide a candid fusion between these two contrasting sounds.
The 17-track album is accompanied with a bonus disc featuring instrumental versions to ten of the album’s vocal tracks. This addition may not be entirely necessary, as the vocal content is often secondary to the actual instrumentation. However, it is nonetheless a noble gesture as far as value is concerned; DJs on the lookout for instrumentals won’t have to drop an extra $10+.
Reviewed by: Will Simmons
Reviewed on: 2005-08-10