Dave Douglas has evolved into one of the giants of jazz. He's willing to take chances and expands familiar concepts, while possessing a signature sound and style amid all his technical gifts. On this release he charts a brass and drums course with the New York-based 4-man horn section and recording artists The Westerlies, along with ace drummer Anwar Marshall (Kurt Rosenwinkel, Fresh Cut Orchestra).
Due to the all-brass framework I occasionally experienced a bit of listening fatigue, yet the radiant themes with Douglas' sinuous arrangements yield gratifying results. On the opener "Champion," the musicians' pumping notes are supported by Marshall's crisp and precision-oriented beats, as the band intertwines a bluesy spirit with blustery phrasings and hard-hitting intervals. Moreover, there are an abundance of crests and sinuously executed passages on this album as the ensemble operates in perpetual motion while reengineering primary motifs along the way.
Marshall provides muscle and a pliant impetus throughout, as Douglas often contrasts and counterbalances The Westerlies' tightly organized unison lines. However, the blues element underscores many of the leader's lyrical soloing jaunts such as "Little Giant Still Life," where the band maps out a memorable hook with an upfront demeanor. Here, Douglas' raspy accents and down and dirty choruses offset pieces like "Bunting," which offers a little free-form mayhem and soaring crescendos.
The musicians tender a mesmeric sequence of musical events, constructed on odd-metered and near-flawlessly executed unison lines, but "Swing Landscape" is rather laidback as the trumpeter's soloing includes shades of gospel and trad jazz applications. Indeed, the hornists mix it up in rather spry fashion during the bridge. And the circuitous "Colonial Cubism," combines bustling bop with old school jazz frameworks. Hence, it's a piece that projects an alternative view. Consequently, Douglas and associates are supreme change agents by offering a disparate outlook on many of the roads previously traversed, implemented with gilded hues and the utmost synergy.
Track Listing: Champion; Arcade; Men and Machine; Little Giant Still Life; Percolator; Your Spacial
Day; Bunting; Swing Landscape; The Front Page; Colonial Cubism; Codetta; Worlds
Beyond the Sky.
Personnel: Dave Douglas: trumpet; Riley Mulherkar: trumpet; Zubin Hensler: trumpet; Andy
Clausen: trombone; Willem de Koch: trombone; Anwar Marshall: drums.
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
We sent a confirmation message to . Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check your spam, bulk or promotions folder.
Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community!
Find All About Jazz articles, news, musician pages, and more!