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In 1961, Bob Thiele set up a portable reel-to-reel tape recorder at the Village Vanguard to record John Coltrane's quintet. Though there was no official plan for releasing the tapes, Thiele knew that recording every single night of these performances had to be done. The resulting release proves his historical foresight. In 2006, Greenleaf music took up a similar project in recording and releasing over 22 hours of the Dave Douglas Quintet live at Jazz Standard. And two years later, they repeated their completist strategy by recording and releasing eight sets of Douglas' Keystone with Marcus Strickland, Adam Benjamin, Brad Jones, Gene Lake and DJ Olive. History will most likely prove it to be a landmark in Douglas' career.
Throughout their four nights, Douglas performed an amazing variety of compositions, ranging from tunes cut on 2003's Freak In (RCA/Bluebird) to entirely new pieces, all expertly played by a group that is solidly grounded in improvisation, funk and playfulness.
DJ Olive stands out as the gadfly of the group, nearly seamlessly integrating found sound and cinematic loops into the ensemble's playing. Pieces such as "Love and Donuts" and "Luke the Dog," which are repeated in several sets, are completely different renditions each time. The compositions leave ample room for improvisation, of which Douglas takes great advantage, blowing solos that never sound the same twice. Some have direct hard bop references ("Circus Peanuts" echoing "Salt Peanuts") but are never derivative. All eight nights are a comprehensive, remarkable record of Douglas' continuing exploration of jazz in the 21st century.
Track Listing: CD1 (April 10, 2008 Early Set): Silent Stars; Moonshine; The First Hundred Years; Married Life; Circus Peanuts; Tough. CD2 (April 10, 2008 Late Set): Dog Star; Scopes; Flood Plain; Kitten; AWD; Traveling Salesman; Tragicomique; Pool Sharks. CD3 (April 11, 2008 Early Set): Love and Donuts; Butterfly Effect; Famous Players; Mabel Normand; Photosynthesis; The Real Roscoe. CD4 (April 11, 2008 Late Set): Luke the Dog; Black Rock Park; Greenhorn; A Noise From The Deep; Mabel's Wilful Way; Tough. CD5 (April 12, 2008 Early Set): Luke the Dog; Silent Stars; The First Hundred Years; Traveling Salesman; Circus Peanuts; Tough. CD6 (April 12, 2008 Late Set): Moonshine; November; Olive's Big Mess; Kitten; Porto Alegro; Pool Sharks. CD7 (April 13, 2008 Early Set): Moonshine; Black Rock Park; Dog Star; Flood Plain; Mabel's Wilful Way; Tough. CD8 (April 13, 2008 Late Set): Love and Donuts; Greenhorn; Married Life; Eastern Parkway; Photosynthesis; Famous Players.
Personnel: Dave Douglas: trumpet; Marcus Strickland: saxophones; Adam Benjamin: Fender Rhodes; Brad Jones: Ampeg Baby Bass; Gene Lake: drums; DJ Olive: turntables and laptop.