174

Dave Douglas: Strange Liberation

Sean Patrick Fitzell By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Douglas: Strange Liberation Continuing a pattern of alternating between experimental and straight-ahead releases, trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas has made Strange Liberation an inside, song-oriented alternative to last year’s more outside, exploratory Freak In. This is not to say that Strange Liberation does not break new ground—it just follows a more familiar route of solid playing without studio enhancement. Eschewing modern covers, the CD contains all original Douglas compositions written specifically for his quintet and special guest, guitarist Bill Frisell. The performances show that Douglas has learned from their many gigs to write tunes that bring out the best in his band.

Frisell’s tone is unmistakable, yet fits comfortably with the group. He offers strong solos on several tunes including the title track, a spacious, mid-tempo vamp, and “Rock of Billy,” an up-tempo burner. That tune also affords Chris Potter’s tenor saxophone room to stretch, as does the quirky, rhythmic “Seventeen,” set around several seemingly disjointed feels punctuated by the rhythm section. Potter plays over and through them without missing a step, showing why he is such an effective partner for Douglas.

The leader shines on many selections, but one standout is “Just Say This.” It is a mournful tune featuring muted trumpet, airy melodic movement, and unhurried rhythm highlighted by the shimmering cymbal work from drummer Clarence Penn. Other sparse tunes that develop slowly include “Mountains From the Train” and “Passing Through.” “The Jones” is a quicker song that features Uri Caine’s Fender Rhodes. The closer, a rollicking ensemble piece called “Catalyst,” is set up by the relentless groove of bassist James Genus and Penn and boasts outstanding solos by Frisell and Potter.

Though not as far-reaching in experimentation as previous Douglas recordings, the subtle interplay of the band and the beauty of the compositions are revealed further with each listen—pushing the boundaries less blatantly, but still pushing nonetheless.


Track Listing: 1. A Single Sky 2:05 2. Strange Liberation 8:05 3. Skeeter-Ism 6:00 4. Just Say This 6:33 5. Seventeen 8:40 6. Mountains from the Train 5:15 7. Rock of Billy 5:57 8. The Frisell Dream 3:56 9. Passing Through 1:36 10. The Jones 4:28 11. Catalyst 5:08

Personnel: Uri Caine - Fender Rhodes; Bill Frisell - Guitar; Clarence Penn - Percussion, Drums; Chris Potter - Bass Clarinet, Tenor Sax; Dave Douglas - Trumpet.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: RCA Victor | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Texas Times" CD/LP/Track Review Texas Times
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 14, 2016
Read "Harmonicus Rex" CD/LP/Track Review Harmonicus Rex
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 21, 2016
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Arclight" CD/LP/Track Review Arclight
by Troy Collins
Published: March 4, 2016
Read "First Set" CD/LP/Track Review First Set
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 6, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!