Music / Culture

Dave Douglas Quintet: Be Still

Dave Douglas never feared to mix traditional jazz and Balkan, film or brass band music; he was even familiar with electronic elements. His new upcoming album Be Still he turned his sight to spiritual and meditative songs and created an excellently performed piece of jazz music.

 

Dave Douglas Quintet: Be Still
Formate: Audio CD
Released: 2012
Label: Green Leaf Records

It would be a mistake to lull ourselves by the introductory calm hymn called Be Still My Soul. A spiritual song is not a majestic depressive opus for a quintet of excellent but a playful and animalistic folk song that sounds persuasively and truly. A trumpet magi Douglas performs innovatory schemes, his band connects beautiful melodies with secretive modes, and a listener is freely led by a crystal harmony of traditionalism and pandering melancholy. Vocal lines are carefully changing with instrumental blocks smoothly balanced omitting any senseless extravaganza.  The fact a human voice is the utmost perfect instrument proves a singer, Clarion O´Donovan. The woman is a real spiritual revelation whose vocal offers plenty of interpretation levels; from choral to jazz and masquerade bluegrass and excels in chamber instrumentation of trumpet, saxophone, piano, bass and drums. A sophisticated declamation hides a certain level of drama creating a marvellous atmosphere. A drummer Rudy Royston works melodically with cymbals, a pianist Matt Mitchell along with a bass player Lindy Oh are completed by numerous curls of Douglas solo style; a saxophonist Jon Irabagon stays true to his own line.

High On The Mountain splutters energy in a playful tempo that is a counterpart of most compositions. Whither Must I Wander is in fact a rural prayer with a single melody played with a maximum feeling; Royston´s instrument groans and crudely preaches as the rest of quintet joins in and waves introductory motives into shoreless modulations. On the contrary Going Somewhere With You hides a jazz counterpoint and emotions surface without any words or devotion. A canonical Middle March pays a tribute to a composer and a drummer, Paul Motion. Overall it is an excellent and mysterious recording that has its fine place in the history of art jazz.

 

 

 


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