9

Dave Douglas Quintet with Special Guest Aoife O' Donovan: Be Still

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Eminent trumpeter/composer Dave Douglas models change through innovation. Among the more important progressive jazz musicians of the past three decades, he's evolved into a motivator and guiding light for scores of seasoned jazz artisans and progressive music upstarts. This 2012 campaign bridges Americana with equal parts jazz, folk, and hymnal pieces with a translucent melding of disparate genres, often intimating a custom-built design. The music resonates across rolling hills, seamless shifts in strategy and memorably melodic storylines, graced by vocalist Aoife O' Donovan's crystalline delivery, spanning jazz and pop inflections, bluegrass, and folksiness. Besides the hymnal elements, Douglas intermittently injects some pop into the program, as the band throttles the energy quotient and broadens its focus with peppy improvisational segments.

The sensitivities surrounding the album content relate to the passing of Douglas's mother who passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer, and the hymns were performed at her memorial service. With O'Donovan's softly woven vocals, the band sometimes elicits notions of famed bluegrass artist Alison Krauss' delving into the jazz vernacular. However, Douglas's bold, lyrically charged, and melodic lines often shade, counter and support O'Donovan's harmonious choruses.

"High On A Mountain" is rooted in bluegrass, but drummer Rudy Royston imparts a hybrid shuffle groove into the mix, tinted with saxophonist Jon Irabagon's soulful lines. On "Barbara Allen," the quartet forges a translucent, hybrid Americana/jazz approach, marked by O' Donovan's deeply probing vocals, as the hornists color the primary theme via warm unison phrasings. The group kicks it up a notch on Douglas "Middle March," floating, soaring and skirting the free zone atop an asymmetrical pulse amid some expansion and contraction mechanisms.

Be Still is a significant entry into Douglas's hefty and multifarious discography. It's a beautiful production, brimming with memorable pieces that sustain recurring listens. Figuratively speaking, the program may be analogous to an elegantly wrapped gift waiting to be opened.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php on line 39

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Jazz Marathon 2" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Marathon 2
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 20, 2017
Read "Hudson" CD/LP/Track Review Hudson
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 18, 2017
Read "Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets" CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Port Of Call" CD/LP/Track Review Port Of Call
by John Sharpe
Published: August 23, 2017
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 7, 2017
Read "The Brightest Minute" CD/LP/Track Review The Brightest Minute
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 25, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.