Dave Douglas was voted trumpeter of the year and innovator/explorer of the year at the 1999 Jazz Awards. He also received firsts in Artist, Composer, and Trumpeter of the year in the critics’ category titled, Talent Deserving Wider Recognition. This Uberman of modern jazz came from nowhere to garner such acclaim. Actually no. With a discography to die for, that includes 15 sessions as leader and nearly 100 as co-leader or sideman, he has been here all along. He works in a mind numbing variety of bands, including John Zorn’s Masada and his own bands; Witness – a electronic world music band, Sextet (see Leap of Faith review), Tiny Bell Trio – Balkan/Jazz improv trio, Parallel Worlds – a string quartet with trumpet, Sanctuary – a free jazz double quartet, Charms Of The Night Sky – a bass/accordion/violin chamber jazz ensemble, and his quartet heard here. The quartet delivers a pure downtown sound, unlike the other new release, a sextet that is uptown. Douglas and Chris Cheek play off each other like Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman once did some forty years ago, except the band also encompasses the entire history of jazz predicted in The Shape Of Jazz To Come
. The quartet is a sort of less oppressive version of Masada. Where Zorn writes Yiddish jazz, Douglas opts for an unrestricted pyrotechnic swing. Perowsky and Genus aren’t here just to keep time; Douglas’ music incorporates enough changes that they play an intricate role in this music. This quartet is not for the faint of heart, but open ears and my trick, playing new music real loud, is the recipe for a satisfying experience.
Track List:Caterwaul; Leap Of Faith; Another Country; Millenium Bug; Emmenthaler; Mistaken Identity; Guido’s High Note; Continental Divide; Igneous; Western Haiku; Euro Disney.