Dave Douglas: Mountain Passages (2005)
Senior Contributor since 1997Jim Santella has been contributing CD reviews, concert reviews and DVD reviews to AAJ since 1997. His work has also appeared in Southland Blues, The L.A. Jazz Scene, and Cadence Magazine.
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Dave Douglas wrote the music for Mountain Passages at the request of the festival at The Sound of the Dolomites. The band hiked up to Rifugio Boe in Valle di Fassa and to Rifugio Brentei, near Madonna di Campliglio in the Alps of northern Italy, and played the music for hundreds of fans who had hiked up to hear them. Later, they put the music together again in a studio.
Douglas' modern mainstream jazz offers various moods. The band swings with reflections of New Orleans on "Twelve Degrees Proof" and "Cannonball Run." They also drift solemnly with passion through somber pieces such as "North Point Memorial" and "Family of the Climber." A heartfelt passion for the natural outdoors and its invitation to worthwhile physical exercise provides plenty of room for outward expression. Douglas doesn't hold back. With tuba, cello, alto saxophone, clarinet and drums, he explores each mountain trail. It's all there in the cohesive performance of his quintet.
The trumpeter's composed suites, with lengthy improvised sections, bring the band's adventure into focus. Portions of the program run light and easy, while Douglas' emphasis remains primarily focused on deeper thoughts. Meditative passages reflect the majestic mountain scenery and all its glory. The natural wonders that inspired Mountain Passages carry their message to our homes through the music of Dave Douglas and his modern jazz quintet.
Track Listing: Summit Music; Family of the Climber; Gnarly Schnapps; Gumshoe; Twelve Degrees Proof; North Point Memorial; Cannonball Run; Palisades; A Nasty Spill; Purple Mountains Majesty; Off Major; Bury Me Standing; All is Forgiven.
Personnel: Dave Douglas- trumpet; Michael Moore- alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet; Peggy Lee- cello; Marcus Rojas- tuba; Dylan van der Schyff- drums