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Charms of the Night Sky

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Album Review

Trumpeter Dave Douglas has participated in so many styles of music that listing them all would be mesmerizing. Some of his best work has been performed in free style and hard bop jazz groups. Here, he charts a different path, albeit one that he has pursued successfully before, in a mellow, lovely vein. Douglas is the only horn, backed by Guy Klucevsek's eclectic accordion, Mark Feldman's gloriously sweet violin, and Greg Cohen's acoustic string bass. With some exceptions, the dynamics are generally low, the tempos slow, and the mood serene. There is almost a post-minimalism to it all, capped by the exquisite sound of Douglas' trumpet. Often, the tunes (mostly written by Douglas) have an Eastern European flair, at times hinting at Klezmer or Jewish wedding music. The group's exacting technical skills eclipse limitations and transcend the immediate moment with gorgeous sound and forward-looking harmonies.


Born: 24 March 1963 in Montclair, NJ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Dave Douglas arguably became the most original trumpeter/composer of his generation. Douglas' stylistic range is broad yet unaffected; his music is not a pastiche, but rather a personal aesthetic that reflects a wide variety of interests. He explicitly cites such diverse influences as Igor Stravinsky, Stevie Wonder, and John Coltrane. As a composer, Douglas adapts and synthesizes unusual forms and creates his own out of disparate elements. As a trumpeter, he possesses a comprehensive jazz technique;...
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Charms of the Night Sky, Dave Douglas
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