354

Dave Douglas & Keystone: Spark Of Being: Expand

Mark Redlefsen By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Douglas & Keystone: Spark Of Being: Expand Just as summer comes to a close, another great release from trumpeter/composer Dave Douglas comes along. Expand is the second part of a trilogy of music, performed by Dave Douglas & Keystone, for the Bill Morrison film Spark of Being (2010). The film and related music bring Mary Shelley's iconic novel, Frankenstein (1818), and the relationship between science and humanity in the future, into a modern light. The first part, Soundtrack (Greenleaf, 2010) , was released earlier in the summer, with the conclusion, Burst (Greenleaf, 2010), to follow in the fall. All three releases are also available together as a box set.

Workaholic Douglas has been even more focused on how he releases his music in terms of format, content, and timing over the past half a decade, since creating his own label, Greenleaf Music. In contrast to the Dave Douglas Quintet, Brass Ecstasy and his larger group projects, Keystone marries film scoring with technology and technique. This ambitious series of Keystone releases represent the group's third outing in the past five years.

Expand stands on its own for those unfamiliar with the finer points of the Keystone's previous releases, or the Spark of Being story backdrop. Douglas's subtle, yet adventurous sound guides like a compass. Clocking in with six songs in 42 minutes, Expand is full of strong compositions that create eager anticipation for the rest of the project.

The opening "Spark of Being" eases in with the Douglas' trumpet over Adam Benjamin's bed of Fender Rhodes chords, shadowed by DJ Olive's electronic laptop blips and squeals. Tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland joins in, blending with Douglas in the front line as light rumbles begin to follow from drummer Gene Lake and electric bassist Brad Jones. The somber "Creature" follows, as the growls of monsters, represented through sound effects, eerily echo behind the music.

In contrast to Douglas's other groups, Keystone relies less on obvious jazz fusion riffs, even though the trumpeter's arrangements often find the band playing in tight unison on pieces where the tempo picks up, such as "Tree Ring Circus" and "Travelogue." DJ Olive's samples and electronic patchworks augment and complement his band mates, particularly on "Observer." The closing "Prologue" is dazzling, as it plods slowly with a solid beat from Lake pushing Benjamin, with Douglas soloing as the imaginary credits roll in anticipation of the next and last part of this trilogy.


Track Listing: Spark of Being; Creature; Tree Ring Circus; Observer; Chroma; Travelogue; Prologue.

Personnel: Dave Douglas: trumpet, laptop; Marcus Strickland: tenor saxophone; Adam Benjamin: Fender Rhodes; Brad Jones: Ampeg Baby Bass; Gene Lake: drums; DJ Olive: turntables, laptop.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Greenleaf Music | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Chance Meeting" CD/LP/Track Review Chance Meeting
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Shipwreck 4" CD/LP/Track Review Shipwreck 4
by John Sharpe
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Disappearing Day" CD/LP/Track Review Disappearing Day
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "Storming Through the South" CD/LP/Track Review Storming Through the South
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 1, 2016
Read "Border Crossing" CD/LP/Track Review Border Crossing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!