Exposé Online banner

Caleb Dolister — Daily Thumbprint Collection 3, The Wandering
(Orenda Records ORENDA0080, 2020, DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2020-07-07

Daily Thumbprint Collection 3, The Wandering Cover art

Exposé readers may recognize his name as the drummer of the international drums-bass-sax trio The Kandinsky Effect, but Dolister has a lot of other projects going, including the Los Angeles based improvisational metal / jazz / electronic quintet DR. MiNT, with at least four recordings to their credit from 2008 to present, as well as work with a number of other artists and ensembles. This review, however concerns Dolister’s ongoing project Daily Thumbprint Collection, where he functions as the composer, arranger, and drummer of a virtual ensemble of over two dozen musicians from all across North America, including his four colleagues from DR. MiNT and much more. The original Daily Thumbprint Collection Vol. 1 was released back in 2008, and the EP length follow-up Daily Thumbprint Collection 2, Stencils was released back in 2015, but many of the pieces presented here on The Wandering have been in the works since 2007, well over a decade. No doubt this amount of time was required because it was completed the old-fashioned way, with Dolister going in person to all the various recording sessions across America, hauling his instruments from place to place in cars and planes, sometimes composing and arranging as he went coast to coast and beyond. The resulting ten tracks (plus a bonus track) are a magnificent instrumental blend of genres, primarily elements jazz, big-band, rock, chamber, funk, Carribbean, metal, and beyond, a sound that wanders all over the musical map as needed, blending ideas seamlessly, all done with first-rate musicians playing accordion, Rhodes, piano, electric and upright basses, guitars, cello, viola, violin, mandolin, trumpet, trombone, tuba, vibraphone, all manner of saxophones, flute, clarinet, and more – in other words if you put them all together this would be a small orchestra. Each track is named with the date the piece was started and a title, for example “080904 [the strategist],” offering a glimpse into the gestation period for each number, though in practice most of these cuts flow together seamlessly as if they were recorded in a single session. The overall result is something nothing short of stunningly imaginative and beautiful, exceptional in every way. For whatever reason, Dolister has no intention of releasing this on any physical media, so it is available only as a download until he changes his mind.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Caleb Dolister

More info

Latest news

Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Travis & Fripp - Thread – Given the extensive musical resumes of Theo Travis and Robert Fripp, it was only a matter of synchronicity that would lead to a real time collaboration by these two innovators. Travis work with Cipher...  (2009) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues