Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

387

Scott DuBois: Banshees

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Guitarist Scott DuBois is a rising presence on the New York jazz scene, an impressive soloist and gifted writer whose abilities garnered the attention of legendary saxophonist David Liebman, who served as a sideman on DuBois' previous releases, Monsoon (Soul Note, 2002) and Tempest (Soul Note, 2007). Banshees is the Sunnyside debut of the guitarist's international quartet, which features the Berlin based multi-reedist Gebhard Ullmann, fellow New Yorker Thomas Morgan on bass and Copenhagen resident Kresten Osgood on drums.

With their labyrinthine head melodies and intricate rhythms, DuBois' thorny compositions lend themselves to extended thematic development. An astute melodist, Dubois reveals a mellifluous side on a pair of supple ballads that offer dynamic contrast to the session's roiling intensity.

Reminiscent of John McLaughlin's adventurous pre-fusion efforts and the austere angularity of contemporary masters like Joe Morris and the late Derek Bailey, DuBois favors an asymmetrical approach, navigating oblique intervals with a nimbleness that would make Eric Dolphy proud. A tonal purist with a bright, naturalistic timbre, DuBois eschews electronic efx, unleashing his quicksilver cadences on a clean-toned hollow body with kinetic force and focused intensity.

DuBois' sparring partner on the front line, Ullmann is a renowned international artist whose previous quartet album, New Basement Research (Soul Note, 2007) was one of 2007's most impressive records. A triple threat multi-instrumentalist, each of his horns elicits its own personality; his tenor is burly and effusive, while his sinuous soprano is as acerbic as his haunting bass clarinet is otherworldly.

Full of youthful brio, Morgan (a veteran of DuBois' previous sessions) and Osgood deliver odd-metered grooves with virtuosity and empathetic interpretative skills, providing an elastic underpinning for DuBois and Ullmann's circuitous statements.

While the majority of the session consists of pithy free bop, DuBois also contributes two heartfelt ballads. The pastoral meditation "Canaria" is a work of understated beauty that unfolds at a glacial pace. The plangent "Old Man on Platform" is an opulent essay in post-Coltrane spirituality that waxes and wanes with a languorous undercurrent of shimmering energy.

Despite his capacity for restrained euphony, DuBois' strong suit is revealed in a series of turbulent compositions that careen into surprising detours in rhythmic structure. Galloping bass lines and crackling ride cymbals usher in a riot of interactivity, inspiring gruff multiphonic caterwauling from Ullman and bursts of rapid fire notes from the leader. DuBois augments abstruse swing with a variety of intriguing devices; stop time interludes ("Inverse"), lock step grooves ("Mouse Song") and dynamic counterpoint ("Mid to the West") all add layers of density to the quartet's fervid explorations.

A most impressive release, Banshees is as hair-raising as the title suggests. A singular talent, DuBois is definitely an artist to keep an ear on.


Track Listing: Mid to the West; Bend; Canaria; Inverse; Mouse Song; Old Man on Platform; Apparition.

Personnel: Scott Dubois: guitar; Gebhard Ullmann: tenor and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet; Thomas Morgan: bass; Kresten Osgood: drums.

Title: Banshees | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Formidable CD/LP/Track Review Formidable
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Cochonnerie CD/LP/Track Review Cochonnerie
by John Sharpe
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Threes CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Smoke CD/LP/Track Review Smoke
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "The Seasons" CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "What Time Is It?" CD/LP/Track Review What Time Is It?
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 6, 2017
Read "Lionsong" CD/LP/Track Review Lionsong
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 21, 2016
Read "Tales From Under" CD/LP/Track Review Tales From Under
by James Nadal
Published: July 5, 2017
Read "Hope Of Home" CD/LP/Track Review Hope Of Home
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 2, 2017
Read "Begin to Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Begin to Dance
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 19, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor