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Live Reviews

Dave Douglas at Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago

By Published: October 12, 2005
Douglas then led the quintet into a piece called "Arbuckle (no film showing at all), with a howling-laughter turntable intro, scorching rapidfire trumpet, and a typically melodically rich tenor break from Strickland over slashing turntable cuts. The leader cued the band immediately into "Pool Sharks, which featured a rather psychedelic Fender Rhodes solo from Benjamin and a turntable break from Sundance Lake that undermined any claim that turntablists don't play real music.

The evening ended with a showing of the Arbuckle short "Fatty's Plucky Pup, and the accompanying tune, a mid-tempo groover that's all mellow warmth and burnished edges known as "Luke the Dog, has to rank as one of Douglas' best unrecorded tunes. The band was at its tightest here, simmering with a sort of wry, good-natured intensity—sort of like good silent comedy.

Ultimately, one's ability to appreciate this music as mere accompaniment to Arbuckle's movies depends on one's mood, desires and preferences. Keystone is, in any case, another ambitious Douglas project that's produced a great band, some stunning music, and a much-deserved resurrection of Roscoe Arbuckle's work. All in all, a fascinating show.

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