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.

Title: Spark Of Being: Expand | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Greenleaf Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Do Not Disturb" CD/LP/Track Review Do Not Disturb
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 26, 2016
Read "Rising Grace" CD/LP/Track Review Rising Grace
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Manhattan EP" CD/LP/Track Review Manhattan EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 2, 2017
Read "Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Okuden
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Trail Magic" CD/LP/Track Review Trail Magic
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 19, 2017
Read "Hoping Against Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Hoping Against Hope
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 19, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.