All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

341

Scott Dubois: Black Hawk Dance

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
There is a deep, questioning spirituality that pervades the music of Scott DuBois. On Black Hawk Dance, his second Sunnyside release, the music becomes a kind of ancient/modern ritual that reaches outward and upward to seemingly attain—as Don Cherry once did—complete communion with the Divine. But the journey is not easy, as the music on this album will verify. It comes at a price. The artist is heard grappling with a soul in torment before he finds solace in the sound and silences of that which surrounds him. Respectful of the gift of musical nirvana that he has received in answer to his soul-stirring quest, the artist answers with seven offerings of his own, to commemorate his journey to bodily and spiritual oneness.

DuBois searches for a much deeper aspect of his art. He does not merely stop when he achieves the kind of tonal values and textures he is looking for; his quest is to find and create a canvas of total sound. This depth of involvement in his music includes weaving into the sonic tapestry both the sound and echoes of notes that chase one another as they form phrases and lines that criss-cross the soundscape. But they also include the space between the sounds—the silences that gain special meaning when the echoes of the notes played last that are left to pirouette and melt into their silences. The sonic shape-shifting that occurs when DuBois adds a myriad of overtones here is remarkable. Sometimes these swivel around the bass clarinet of Gebhard Ullmann as he reaches down gently into the depths of his instrument to play a mighty contrapuntal role in the song—in the interminable swing of "Black Hawk Dance."

On "Souls," on the other hand, the relationship between the stuttering calmness of guitar and Ullmann's restless tenor saxophone lines is much more contentious and relentless. Finally the saxophone drops out of sight altogether leaving DuBois' guitar to continue depicting the spirit world playing off Thomas Morgan's ponderous bass line, plucked amid splashes of Kresten Osgood's cymbals. In between these two tracks there are mighty swoops and swells in the conversations between a gregarious Ullmann and a reticent Dubois, as they journey through "Illinois Procession Rain" and "Dust Celebration," with its incessant shuffle. "Isolate" is another brooding composition that meanders in and out of beautifully improvised sections, while "River Life" is a pulsating journey full of rapid and thoughtful changes.

Scott Dubois is a thinking, almost brooding musician. His music is of a singular nature with well-crafted sound seeks to mirror the depth of an artist in the manner that John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane did in the sunset of their careers, when they discovered that the artist's life was greater than the sum of the music they had recorded. Still, their audiences cheered at having a record of their remarkable journeys, as is also the case with Black Hawk Dance.

Track Listing: Black Hawk Dance; Illinois Procession Rain; Dust Celebration; Isolate; River Life; Souls; Louis Frederic.

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

Title: Black Hawk Dance | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Autumn Wind

Autumn Wind

ACT Music
2017

buy
Winter Light

Winter Light

ACT Music
2016

buy
Winter Light

Winter Light

ACT Music
2015

buy
 

Landscape Scripture

Sunnyside Records
2013

buy
Landscape Scripture

Landscape Scripture

Sunnyside Records
2012

buy
Black Hawk Dance

Black Hawk Dance

Sunnyside Records
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Drift CD/LP/Track Review
Drift
by Paul Rauch
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Journey Moments CD/LP/Track Review
Journey Moments
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island CD/LP/Track Review
Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Night Concert CD/LP/Track Review
Night Concert
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Rumah Batu CD/LP/Track Review
Rumah Batu
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 17, 2018
Read The Bat Swings! CD/LP/Track Review
The Bat Swings!
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 17, 2018
Read "I Know I Dream" CD/LP/Track Review I Know I Dream
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 22, 2017
Read "Gendhing for a Spirit Rising" CD/LP/Track Review Gendhing for a Spirit Rising
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 12, 2018
Read "The Best of the Grateful Dead Live" CD/LP/Track Review The Best of the Grateful Dead Live
by Doug Collette
Published: April 27, 2018
Read "Nerve Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Nerve Dance
by John Sharpe
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "Morning Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "The Street Doctor" CD/LP/Track Review The Street Doctor
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 26, 2018