Dave Douglas: The Infinite (2002)
Chris Potter, on tenor sax and bass clarinet, continues the inspired rapport he began with Douglas as a member of the Magic Triangle and Leap of Faith quartet. Same goes for bassist James Genus, whose rock-solidness is underscored by the hip, unpredictable drumming of Clarence Penn. Uri Caine's Rhodes, in particular, brings to mind some of Miles' early electric music, e.g., Water Babies or Miles In the Sky. But listen to the seductive rubato sections in the midst of the otherwise grooving "Penelope" a track that includes a surprisingly direct, slowed-down reference to "Boplicity" from Birth of the Cooland you can hear the kind of uniqueness Douglas brings to the concept. There's a similar depth to "Waverly": it's a Trane-like waltz, but it's more than just that.
This band was absolutely astonishing when it premiered at the Village Vanguard in February of 2001. A studio effort, it must be said, could never quite match that kind of intensity. But The Infinite is still one of Douglas' most absorbing and accessible statements to date.
Track Listing: 1. Poses 2. The Infinite 3. Penelope 4. Crazy Games 5. Waverly 6. Yorke 7. Unison 8. Deluge 9. Argo
Personnel: Dave Douglas, trumpet; Chris Potter, tenor sax, bass clarinet; Uri Caine, Fender Rhodes; James Genus, bass; Clarence Penn, drums
Record Label: Bluebird
Style: Modern Jazz