Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

465

Dave Douglas: Constellations

Martin Longley By

Sign in to view read count
This reissue harks back to a time when trumpeter Dave Douglas seemingly operated within a more extreme zone of jazz improvisation. When this 1995 set was recorded at Radio DRS in Zurich, the trio had been together for three years, Douglas having built up a tight bond with guitarist Brad Shepik and drummer Jim Black but such a lightning closeness didn't tend to occlude the threesome's unique playing characters.

To compartmentalize loosely each member's area of expertise we can say that Black is a rickety rummager, Shepik a tonal painter and Douglas an ultra-kinetic hummingbird. All three, when acting as one, have no trouble navigating the often-convoluted pieces. Most of these are penned by Douglas, with the occasional speckled exception. Angular busyness is the norm, dynamic changeability a common process.

Douglas had utilized Eastern European folksiness as a core melodic prompt, but his final results are only partially rooted in gypsy flamboyance, regularly veering aside, up a slightly strange mountain path. Balkan abstraction dominates. There's an element of circus japery, an extroverted showing-off that sounds like the band's natural state. Douglas is intent on having fun with virtuosity. This is music of many sections: multiple twitches that begin with free-swirling, but might coalesce with a bounding jolt.

By the third track, "Hope Ring True," the mood becomes darker, the progress slower and more considered. Douglas is morose and contemplative. This condition is only temporary, as "The Gig" (a Herbie Nichols number) renews the spirited, twitchy rush, "Les Croquants" (by French singer Georges Brassens) makes a slightly tipsy swagger and then the disc concludes with Robert Schumann's "Vanitatus Vanitatum," a delicately stumbling tip-toe, cavorting lightly as it reaches its climax. Black murders his Brazilian cuíca drum as he pushes its tuning higher and higher. An intoxicated air pervades, yet the Tiny Bell is always punctual.

Track Listing: Constellations; Unhooking The Safety Net; Hope Ring True; Taking Sides; The Gig; Scriabin; Les Croquants; Maquiladora; Vanitatus Vanitatum.

Personnel: Dave Douglas: trumpet; Brad Shepik: guitar; Jim Black: drums.

Title: Constellations | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Hatology

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Garden State

Garden State

Dave Douglas
Time Travel

Bad Mango

Bad Mango

Dave Douglas
Bad Mango

The Gulf

The Gulf

Dave Douglas
Orange Afternoons

Safeway

Safeway

Dave Douglas
Rare Metals

In Pictures
Live Reviews
Catching Up With
CD/LP/Track Review
Genius Guide to Jazz
Live Reviews
Interviews
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The New National Anthem

The New National...

Greenleaf Music
2017

buy
Little Giant Still Life

Little Giant Still...

Greenleaf Music
2017

buy
Dark Territory

Dark Territory

Greenleaf Music
2016

buy
Dada People

Dada People

Greenleaf Music
2016

buy
High Risk

High Risk

Greenleaf Music
2015

buy
Brazen Heart

Brazen Heart

Greenleaf Music
2015

buy
Date Detail Price
Apr12Fri
8:00 pm
Dave Douglas: Dizzy Atmosphere
Wortham Theater Center
Houston, TX
$37.50-67.50

Related Articles

Read World Gardens CD/LP/Track Review
World Gardens
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Henry II CD/LP/Track Review
Henry II
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Conference Of The Mat/ts CD/LP/Track Review
Conference Of The Mat/ts
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Âme Sèche CD/LP/Track Review
Âme Sèche
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard
by Doug Collette
Published: December 13, 2018
Read "Day by Day" CD/LP/Track Review Day by Day
by Jim Olin
Published: September 4, 2018
Read "Sheroes" CD/LP/Track Review Sheroes
by Jim Worsley
Published: July 6, 2018
Read "The Subject Tonight Is Love" CD/LP/Track Review The Subject Tonight Is Love
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 31, 2018
Read "Ellipse" CD/LP/Track Review Ellipse
by Matt Hooke
Published: March 27, 2018
Read "Full Circle" CD/LP/Track Review Full Circle
by Mackenzie Horne
Published: December 3, 2018
Read "Ghost Music" CD/LP/Track Review Ghost Music
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 30, 2018