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The Coachella Valley Trio: Mid Century Modern

Read "Mid Century Modern" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Guitarist Doug MacDonald had been gigging around the Palm Springs, CA, area with bassist Larry Holloway and drummer Tim Pleasant as the Coachella Valley Trio for three years when the three amigos entered a studio in 2019 to record their first album as a working group. The result is Mid Century Modern, a burnished and buoyant session in which the trio is enlarged on six of its eleven tracks by percussionist Big Black on djembe. The music ...

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Doug MacDonald & the Tarmac Ensemble: Jazz Marathon 4: Live at Hangar 18

Read "Jazz Marathon 4: Live at Hangar 18" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As befits a Jazz Marathon, guitarist Doug MacDonald's Live at Hangar 18 embodies not one but two CDs, complete with shifting personnel and groups that range from quintet to septet. This is the fourth in a recorded series of marathons conceived by producer Don Thomson and led by MacDonald with a supporting cast that boasts a number of Southern California's leading jazz musicians. Hangar 18, by the way, is not a repository for aircraft but a restaurant at the Marriott ...

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Doug MacDonald: Jazz Marathon 2

Read "Jazz Marathon 2" reviewed by Jack Bowers

For those who thought that guitarist Doug MacDonald's happy-go-lucky jazz marathon had crossed the finish line with the release more than a year ago of Just for Fun, the good news is that MacDonald and his talented teammates have found their second wind and the marathon continues through a second effervescent two-CD session taped at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Redondo Beach, CA. The group remains largely intact, with trumpeter Carl Saunders and saxophonist Pete Christlieb added and trombonist Linda ...

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Doug MacDonald: Solo Plus

Read "Solo Plus" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

The field of jazz guitarists seems to have exploded with variety of discs that put one sort of spin or another on the music. From Latin touches to rock and roll beats and from avant-garde dissonance to popish smoothness this releases run the range of sounds striving to be “exeptional." It is, therefore, refreshing to hear a master of the instrument perform unadorned relying solely on his virtuosity. Guitarist Doug MacDonald does just that on the intimate and engaging Solo ...

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Doug MacDonald: Gentle Rain

Read "Gentle Rain" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The long tradition of the mellow jazz guitar established by Barney Kessel, Johnny Smith, Herb Ellis, Billy Bauer, Jim Hall and others, and carried forward by Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, Ed Bickert, Howard Alden and their peers, remains in the capable hands of (relatively) younger players such as John Pizzarelli, Chris Flory and Joe Cohn. Doug MacDonald, now in his 50s, falls somewhere in between, having been on the scene for more than two decades while never forswearing ...

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Doug MacDonald: Blue Capers

Read "Blue Capers" reviewed by AAJ Staff

There is an old Southern adage that says “Show me who you're runnin' with and I'll show you who you are". Everybody is in fast company on this disc, with MacDonald leading the way. This artful Guitarist is runnin' with the big leaguers, but of course he is a made member of this elite cadre.. 'Blue Capers' swings pleasantly with MacDonald's slick solo. 'Until The Real Thing Comes Along' ..Well, the real thing came along on this toe tapper, with ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Doug MacDonald: Blue Capers

Read "Blue Capers" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Guitarist Doug MacDonald gets down to basics on his seventh album as leader, shepherding a seasoned quartet through its paces in an amiable session that swings gently but firmly from start to finish. MacDonald’s mellow sound is underscored by an unblemished technique that he never uses to overwhelm the listener, seldom submitting an unnecessary note and letting the quiet spaces speak for themselves. His comrades–in–arms, pianist Art Hillery, bassist John Heard (also responsible for the impressive cover art) and drummer ...


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