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As per usual, Dave Douglas created an album that only he at only this point in his career could have made. All the killer Dave Douglas things are there: the excellent song choices that play to the strengths of the musicians, the soft but by no means weak tone, and the intelligence. I felt smarter after listening to Present Joys. Along with pianist Uri Caine, Douglas' approach on this record sounds like Nas on Illmatic or the Grateful Dead at their live shows. He opens a channel into the middle of his musicianship and just lets it all flow out without anything superfluous or presumptuous.
Trumpeter Daniel Rosenboom's quintet's debut album, Fire Keeper, marches forward with a certain kind of relentlessness. It's definitely the kind of rambunctious, inventive kind of music that would describe a Steve Coleman composition or the latest David Binney album (by the way, Binney's Anacapa is amazing and you should hear it if you haven't already). The support from his group, particularly from Alexander Noice's electric guitar, play up a rather common, but exciting direction jazz has been taking lately in the intermingling of rock sounds into the jazz canon, especially when touches of free jazz rear their heads. It's rather challenging material, for the musicians involved and for the listener, but it's worth a listen. Check it out streaming from Rosenboom's new label's, Orenda Records', Bandcamp page after the jump.
The ongoing work that is Radiclani Clytus and Gregg Conde's documentary on Jason Moran, Grammar, is steadily moving forward. Today, the pair just released a ten-minute clip from the film, a look at the collaboration between Moran and conceptual artist Theaster Gates as the pair work on the premiere of "Looks of a Lot" at Chicago's Symphony Orchestra Hall on May 30, 2014. Watch the video featuring The Bandwagon of Tarus Mateen & Nasheet Waits, Ken Vandermark, Katie Ernst, and the Kenwood Academy Jazz Band after the jump.
I was actually live in the studio for this show as a kind of birthday celebration, so that was interesting. I don't get the chance to do the show often so it was pretty fun coordinating pressing all the buttons at all the right times and only having one shot to get everything right. Mostly everything goes right this week.
The Line-Up for 11 July 2014