All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Extended Analysis

4

DouBt: DouBt: Mercy Pity Peace & Love

Dave Wayne By

Sign in to view read count
Quick, name a jazz-rock trio fronted by a dazzling virtuoso keyboardist and a prodigiously talented electric guitarist that plays in a hyper-aggressive no-holds-barred style which combines edgy free improv with a heavy '70s rock sound. If you answered "the original Tony Williams' Lifetime" you aren't alone. One current trio actively probing the outer reaches of jazz and rock using the keys / guitar / drums format is the British / Belgian / American trio DouBt. Though keyboardist Alex Maguire, unlike Larry Young in Williams' famed trio, is not primarily a Hammond B-3 player he accesses an array of old- school analogue and newfangled digital keyboards to craft an ever- changing and dynamic sound that evokes the smell of hot tubes and burning wires while being utterly 21st Century. The trio's irrepressible guitarist Michel Delville is at home in virtually any musical context. In a scene crowded with hotshot guitar heroes, he has an immediately identifiable sound and the maturity and pacing of his solos truly stands out. Yet, when he wants to, he can get right up in your face with loud, distorted shredding like some crazed teenager. Drummer Tony Bianco is, along with Maguire, a longstanding member of the UK free-improvised music community. He's at his best when the music permits him to float and jab at random—as on "Rising Upon Clouds," "The Human Abstract," and the lengthy title track—though his role in douBt is largely rhythm-oriented.

Mercy Pity Peace & Love is a logical extension of the band's 2008 release Never Pet a Burning Dog. The music is a mashup of free improv—both groove-based and non-groove-based—and high octane '70s-style jazz-rock fusion with a phantasmagoric patina of psychedelic prog rock. The CD opens with "There is a War Going On," a rave-up that combines astute pre-recorded oration by US Rep. Bernie Sanders with an insistent B-3 riff. Delville comes out swinging with a jabbing, pummeling solo and basically never lets up for the remainder of the CD. The cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" storms out of the blocks in grand fashion, with Delville absolutely wailing over the loosely-interpreted classic riff. For a moment, it's not hard to imagine the original Tony Williams' Lifetime has sprung back to life! After Delville's opening salvo, Maguire leaps in and the energy level simply skyrockets. While Bianco sounds a little less comfortable here than he does on the CD's other tracks, he gets the job done.

By contrast, "Jalal" is a chilled groover fuelled by Bianco's in-the- pocket drums and a knotty sequenced rhythm à la early Medeski Martin and Wood. "Mercury" uses a similar approach quite successfully, albeit lighter and without the sequencer. Maguire's restless piano solo on the latter evokes countryman Keith Tippett. Perhaps the most effective and interesting piece on the CD, "No More Quarrel With The Devil" conflates a mutated King Crimson riff with a hilariously straight, almost classical-sounding riff that would make Percy Grainger smile. Some more skillful borrowing features prominently on "The Invitation," which echoes John Coltrane's classic composition "Equinox" in an effective way. A tense, dark ballad, "Goodbye My Fellow Soldier" closes this otherwise up-tempo, energetic session on an uncharacteristically somber note, though it showcases the trio's tremendous musical range.

Track Listing: There Is a War Going On; Jalal; No More Quarrel With the Devil; Purple Haze; The Invitation; Mercy Pity Peace & Love; There Is a War Going On (reprise); Tears Before Bedtime; The Human Abstract; No More Quarrel With the Devil (reprise); Mercury; Goodbye My Fellow Soldier.

Personnel: Alex Maguire: keyboards, sequencer; Michel Delville: guitar, Roland GR09; samples; Tony Bianco: drums, sequencer.

Title: DouBt: Mercy Pity Peace & Love | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Moonjune Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 Extended Analysis
Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
by Doug Collette
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Love, Gloom, Cash, Love Extended Analysis
Love, Gloom, Cash, Love
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Motel Shot: Expanded Edition Extended Analysis
Motel Shot: Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017
Read Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead Motion Picture Soundtrack Extended Analysis
Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead...
by Doug Collette
Published: July 14, 2017
Read Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe  Edition Extended Analysis
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th...
by Doug Collette
Published: May 27, 2017
Read Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Deluxe Edition Extended Analysis
Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Motel Shot: Expanded Edition" Extended Analysis Motel Shot: Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981" Extended Analysis Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
by Doug Collette
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "Love, Gloom, Cash, Love" Extended Analysis Love, Gloom, Cash, Love
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Marbin at The Firmament" Live Reviews Marbin at The Firmament
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 15, 2018
Read "Smida Jazz Festival 2017 in Romania" In Pictures Smida Jazz Festival 2017 in Romania
by Nedici Dragoslav
Published: September 1, 2017
Read "Steven Wilson at the Keswick Theater" Live Reviews Steven Wilson at the Keswick Theater
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 29, 2018
Read "Misterioso" What is Jazz? Misterioso
by Annette Johnson
Published: August 3, 2017
Read "Take Five with Tarek Yamani" Take Five With... Take Five with Tarek Yamani
by Tarek Yamani
Published: April 12, 2018