Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy: Spirit Moves

By: Dennis Cook

Tipsy, trippy and toodle-loo-y, veteran trumpeter Dave Douglas' latest dips New Orleans moves in something funky - no, not another groove band but so pleasantly off-kilter that one feels a lil' woozy after spending time in their company. Underpinned by drummer Nasheet Waits, Douglas brass sheen is joined by Luis Bonilla (trombone), Marcus Rojas (tuba) and Vincent Chancey (French horn). The ensemble swings but not too tightly, enjoying the rounded edges of their instruments and fat, overlapping tones. And Douglas' compositions give them lots to work with but also enough room that individual personalities emerge over the 11 cuts, which culminate in a sweet cover of Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." Along the way there's a superb tribute to Lester Bowie that really captures his wild essence, the elegant glide of "Rava" and the appropriately tubby wobble of "Fats." Spirit Moves (released June 16 on Greenleaf) is a pleasant reminder that jazz is a broad American spectrum, not just bebop, fusion or any other cul de sac.

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[Published on: 7/13/09]

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