326

Dave Douglas: A Thousand Evenings

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Douglas: A Thousand Evenings Last night I had the strangest dream. I dreamed Dave Douglas’ Charms Of The Night Sky band took the place of the original band The Monkees on their TV comedy show (stay with me and we might make some sense of this). Remember The Monkees were actors chosen to play musicians (not unlike today’s Backstreet Bunch), but later rebelled against their producers and created their own records. Their coup against network expectations (all unknown until I stumbled upon the VH-1 Behind The Music show) was a surreal kind of post-modern reality. Trumpeter Dave Douglas plays the part of Davy Jones, bassist Greg Cohen is Mike Nesmith, violinist Mark Feldman (of course) plays Mickey Dolenz, and accordionist Guy Klucevsek is Peter Tork.

Confused! Me too.

Douglas, who has recently won just about every jazz award given out, releases just his second disc for a major label. His first for RCA was the septet Soul On Soul post-bop dedication to Mary Lou Williams. There was no mistaking its jazz was jazz. With the Charms quartet, sometimes its jazz is more tango, Balkan, folk, classical than jazz. But that, just like The Monkees thin façade of wackiness, is just on the surface.

Diggng deeper you find Douglas’ charm to be cleverly-disguised jazz. Easy. Take their cover of Nat Adderley’s “The Little Boy With The Sad Eyes,” As Greg Cohen walks his bass bop style the players take swinging call-and-response solos, maybe included to make believers out of the conservative jazz fan. Then there is the only other cover, which is the James Bond classic “Goldfinger.” Douglas plays the tune soulfully straight, paired with Mark Feldman’s melodic support

The meat of this release is two commissioned pieces. “In So Many Words,” dedicated to Jaki Byard, was commissioned by Chamber Music America and “The Branches” by Ashkenaz Festival. The Byard piece feels like a movie soundtrack composition echoing the stated emotional titles by way of classical-jazz-popular inventions. Feldman takes an emotional solo on “Mournful” and the melody of “In Praise” stays with you long after its 5 minutes. “The Branches” returns Douglas to his of love for European folk and classical music.

Klucevsek takes a turn at a whirled solo piece Douglas wrote for him called “Variety.” It is almost the accordion equivalent to a Naked City cut-and-paste thrasher song and my personal favorite is the rapid “On Our Way Home” where Klucevsek takes a solo, quotes The Beatles, and suddenly it hits you. This Eastern European romp could easily have been an adaptation of a Fab four pop tune.

But then again, weren’t the Monkees also an adaptation of The Beatles for American consumption?


Track Listing: A Thousand Evenings; The Branches: Part One; Part Two; Words For A Loss; Variety; The Little Boy With The Sad Eyes; In So Many Words: Ecstatic; Mournful; In Praise; Goldfinger; On Our Way Home; Memories Of Pure Spring.

Personnel: Dave Douglas

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: RCA Victor | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Unstatic" CD/LP/Track Review Unstatic
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 9, 2016
Read "Perceive React" CD/LP/Track Review Perceive React
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "Protean Reality" CD/LP/Track Review Protean Reality
by John Sharpe
Published: June 22, 2016
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Shock Axis" CD/LP/Track Review Shock Axis
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Ed Calle 360" CD/LP/Track Review Ed Calle 360
by Edward Blanco
Published: July 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!