173

Dave Douglas & Keystone: Moonshine

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Douglas & Keystone: Moonshine As one of jazz's most omnivorous thinkers, trumpeter/composer Dave Douglas continues to explore ideas outside of the norm. Moonshine is a continuation with Keystone—an electric sextet that includes Marcus Strickland (saxophones), Adam Benjamin (Fender Rhodes), Brad Jones (bass), Gene Lake (drums), and DJ Olive (turntables)—exploring in music, the life and art of 1920s silent film actor/director Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, whose career was abruptly ended when he was falsely accused of murder.

Whether or not Douglas' odd juxtaposition of silent comedy and modern jazz works can be judged in the Arbuckle and Buster Keaton's Moonshine video, but Keystone successfully delivers Douglas' vision of Arbuckle's spirit with music that fuses multiple styles.

A masterful studio work that is lively, emotive and downright funky, the compositions convey a cinematic yet small ensemble sound. The dark shapes of "Dog Star," the bounce-groove tempo of the title song, and DJ Olive's subtle turntablism on "Married Life" and "Silent Stars" all make for an intriguing listen.

But in the end, Moonshine is a recording that is steeped in jazz tradition with top musicians performing top notch material. Lake and Jones' pulsating cadence carries Strickland's free flying tenor on "Scopes." The light horn/keyboard harmonization on "Flood Plane," as Douglas' warm trumpet adds a mysterious quality mixed with the sampled voice of a young boy in the Middle East. An empathetic human element is always present.

The recording's final track "Tough" is a throwback to the music of Motown, saxophonist Cannonball Adderley and keyboardist Joe Zawinul's 1970s urban jazz funk, and even old-school hip hop beats of Grand Master Flash (with a superb live drum solo by Gene Lake). It shows Douglas' appreciation of music's history and multiform art. So when you think about it's not a stretch for the trumpeter/composer to find inspiration in Arbuckle's life and works.

What's in store for Douglas in the future is anyone's guess, but it will more than likely be an interesting adventure.

Track Listing: Dog Star; Moonshine; Married Life; Silent Stars; Scopes; Flood Plane; Kitten; Tough.

Personnel: Dave Douglas: trumpet; Marcus Strickland: saxophones; DJ Olive: turntables and laptop; Adam Benjamin; Fender Rhodes; Brad Jones: bass; Gene Lake: drums.

Title: Moonshine | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Greenleaf Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Shipwreck 4" CD/LP/Track Review Shipwreck 4
by John Sharpe
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "Mortality" CD/LP/Track Review Mortality
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 11, 2016
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by Doug Collette
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Closer To The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Closer To The Sun
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "Live" CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 13, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.