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Charms of the Night Sky by Dave Douglas

Dave Douglas is one of the most innovative and creative musicians in modern jazz. Unlike many other trumpet players he has been trying throughout the years to create his own musical vocabulary. After completing his studies at Berklee School of Music, Douglas moved back to New York where he joined the Horace Silver band in 1987; that introduced him to a larger audience.

In 1993 Douglas founded along with the alto saxophonist John Zorn the free jazz ensemble: " Masada Quartet "– this band still performs today live – inspired to the early records from Ornette Coleman; this experience allowed Douglas to spread further the sound boundaries of his improvisation on trumpet. His style even influenced by jazz trumpeter giants like Miles Davis and Booker Little, is also a blend of East European, Jewish folk music elements and chamber classical.

Some years later the German label Winter & Winter published the marvelous Charms of the Night Sky. The compositions – most of them written by Douglas - were arranged specifically in the way of a string chamber music Quartet: the tune Bal Masque is a waltz performed by the duet Douglas on trumpet and above all Guy Klucevsek on accordion recalling the French folk music; Twisted is a real Balkan melody announced by a powerful acoustic bass intro from Greg Cohen backed by the gipsy notes from Douglas and Klucevsek. Eight of 13 tracks are expressive duo solos and particularly trumpet/accordion.

Jazz reminiscences can be heard on the Herbie Hancock's original Little One featuring a very lyrical solo from Douglas on trumpet. East Europe traditional dance sounds are played on Wild Coffee, while The Girl with the Rose Hips contrasts that with a sleep-inducing muted trumpet and accordion duet.

This session shows that jazz constantly can evolve by wisely watching other music cultures.


Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Dave Douglas
  • CD Title: Charms of the Night Sky
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 1998
  • Record Label: Winter & Winter Records
  • Tracks: Charms of the Night Sky; Bal Masque; Sea Change; Facing West; Dance in Thy Soul; Little One; Wild Coffee; The Girl With The Rose Hips; Decafinata; Poveri Fiori; Odyssey; Twisted; Codetta;
  • Musicians: Dave Douglas – Trumpet/Arranger/Composer; Greg Cohen – Acoustic Bass; Mark Feldman – Violin - ; Guy Klucevsek – Accordion -
  • Rating: Four Stars
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