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The Larry Douglas Alltet: Dedications

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The Larry Douglas Alltet: Dedications
An Alltet is apparently two groups, one with eleven musicians, the other with six. At least that is the case on trumpeter Larry Douglas' reissued debut album, Dedications, on the first half of which he leads a tentet (and auxiliary percussionist), on the second half a sextet. The dedications, Douglas writes, are to his late son, Josquin Xavier Douglas, and two of his son's aunts. No more is said about that aside from the fact that his son's passing happened in 1973. He must have been young, as Douglas says the second track, "Untitled," bears the name "because I didn't know what my son would have become."

Before appraising the music, it should be noted that Dedications was released in 1985 and is being reissued on vinyl by Tidal Waves Music. The CD version is on San Francisco's Swajola Musique label. The opening "Dedications (Theme)" is more celebration than requiem, driving earnestly ahead on the wings of buoyant Latin rhythms and brash solos by flutist David Masucci and guitarist Joshua Workman. Masucci returns to share the stage with Workman and organist Ron Weinstein on the carefree waltz, "Untitled," after which the larger group bows out with the funky "Jammin' in the 'Boro," a salute to Douglas' hometown, Statesboro, GA, that enfolds heated solos by Workman, Masucci, bassist Charles Thomas, tenor Ronald Wilson, Douglas (overdubbed on trumpet/flugel) and more stalwart work by the rhythm section, anchored by drummer Chris Corrigan, conguero Kamau Seitu and percussionist Marcos Torres.

The sextet enters the picture on "Illusions," a medium-tempo modal theme whose earnest solos are by Wilson, Douglas, pianist Eric Vaughn and bassist James Lewis, continues through the low-key ballad "Traces" (solos by Douglas, Wilson—on baritone—and Vaughn) and wraps the session with "Dedications (the Variation)," another Latin-inspired flag-waver that showcases Vaughn, Douglas, Lewis and Wilson (on tenor). Seitu is the sextet's drummer, and he never misses a beat. Douglas, who wrote and arranged everything, packs an abundance of vigor and variety into Dedications, more than enough to underline his purpose. Earnest, straight-ahead jazz whose message is one of happiness and hope, not sorrow or loss.

Track Listing

Dedications (the Theme); Untitled; Jammin’ at the ‘Boro; Illusions; Traces; Dedications (the Variation).

Personnel

Larry Douglas: trumpet; David Masucci: flute; Ronald Wilson: saxophone, tenor; Joshua Workman: guitar; Ray Williams: keyboards; Ron Weinstein: organ, Hammond B3; Charles Thomas: bass; Chris Corrigan: drums; Kamau Seitu: congas; Marcos Torres: percussion; Muata Omowale: percussion; Eric Vaughn: piano; James Lewis: bass, acoustic.

Album information

Title: Dedications | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Swajola Rekords

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