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Album Review

Doug MacDonald: Mid Century Modern

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Doug MacDonald: Mid Century Modern
Veteran guitarist Doug MacDonald, bassist Larry Holloway and drummer Tim Pleasant, have been performing in and around the Palm Springs, CA community since 2016. The Coachella Valley Trio began their journey with a steady gig at AJ's On The Green, in Cathedral City. Developing into a cohesive group with an impeccable sound, it was only natural that they would decide to capture their music on Mid Century Modern.

For this debut, the band expands with the addition of percussionist Big Black, who plays the djembe on six tracks. Presenting a superb mix of originals and standards, the band delivers an impressive collection of straight-ahead jazz with a delightful measure of charm and grace. MacDonald contributes four original tunes, including two Brazilian-styled pieces on "Cat City Samba" and "Bossa Nueva," while the light "Lance or Lot" and the decidedly up-beat "Tram Jam" complete the originals of the set.

The oft-recorded selection of standards are performed here with fresh arrangements that make familiar songs sound new. Opening with Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer's "My Shinning Hour," the music only gets better on such time-honored standards as "What's New," "Give Me the Simple Life," "I Hadn't Anyone Till You" and "Stranger In Paradise."

MacDonald and the band wind it all down on Dizzy Gillespie's jazz standard "Woody 'N You," and close the show on Jerome Kern / Dorothy Fields' immortal "The Way You Look Tonight." It's quite obvious that this is the guitarist's album as his solos are the most pronounced, but the contributions of Holloway, Pleasant and Black provide the fuel that propels the engine.

Track Listing

My Shining Hour; Lance or Lot; Cat City Samba; Tram Jam; What’s New; Give Me the Simple Life; Stranger in Paradise; I Hadn’t Anyone Till You; Woody ‘n You; Bossa Nueva; The Way You Look Tonight.

Personnel

Doug MacDonald: guitar; Larry Holloway : bass, acoustic; Tim Pleasant: drums; Big Black: congas.

Additional Instrumentation

Doug MacDonald, guitar; Larry Holloway, bass; Tim Pleasant: drums; Big Black: djembe (3, 6-10).

Album information

Title: Mid Century Modern | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Self Produced


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