DAVE DOUGLAS, BE STILL


The poignant story behind trumpeter Dave Douglas’s recording, “Be Still” begins with his mother, Emily Douglas, who attended over 200 of her son’s performances and asked him to play this selection of hymns at her funeral. Of course, the album is affecting and it’s aesthetically noteworthy in the way that his quintet expresses another side of Douglas’s prolific creativity – the songs lucidly mix jazz with folk, bluegrass and traditional Protestant song forms. In another satisfying turn, the trumpeter adds the vocals and guitar of Aoife O’Donovan, which Douglas underscores with subtle tonalities behind the lyrics. “Be Still” is more celebratory than mournful (“Whither Must I Wander”) with saxophonist Jon Irabagon, bassist Linda Oh, pianist Matt Mitchell and the versatile drummer Rudy Royston on hand to enhance its non-denominational pleasures. There’s also a fitting dedication to drummer Paul Motian (“Middle March”) that resonates with free-form interplay and the track elegantly reinforces the band’s musical cohesion. Recorded in April 2012, “Be Still” is a stand-alone gem in the Douglas discography, an evocative ode to a profound relationship and played with deeply felt significance. (9 tracks; 42:56 minutes)
www.davedouglas.com www.greenleafmusic.com 

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JAZZ IN SPACE: DAVE DOUGLAS, BE STILL

Thursday, November 15, 2012

DAVE DOUGLAS, BE STILL


The poignant story behind trumpeter Dave Douglas’s recording, “Be Still” begins with his mother, Emily Douglas, who attended over 200 of her son’s performances and asked him to play this selection of hymns at her funeral. Of course, the album is affecting and it’s aesthetically noteworthy in the way that his quintet expresses another side of Douglas’s prolific creativity – the songs lucidly mix jazz with folk, bluegrass and traditional Protestant song forms. In another satisfying turn, the trumpeter adds the vocals and guitar of Aoife O’Donovan, which Douglas underscores with subtle tonalities behind the lyrics. “Be Still” is more celebratory than mournful (“Whither Must I Wander”) with saxophonist Jon Irabagon, bassist Linda Oh, pianist Matt Mitchell and the versatile drummer Rudy Royston on hand to enhance its non-denominational pleasures. There’s also a fitting dedication to drummer Paul Motian (“Middle March”) that resonates with free-form interplay and the track elegantly reinforces the band’s musical cohesion. Recorded in April 2012, “Be Still” is a stand-alone gem in the Douglas discography, an evocative ode to a profound relationship and played with deeply felt significance. (9 tracks; 42:56 minutes)

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