Dave Douglas' previous quintet was one of my favourite jazz groups of all time. ALthough this is practically the same kind of line up, (Matt Mitchell playing piano as opposed to Uri Caine's fender rhodes) the change in personnel gives this quintet a totally different sound. In some ways this is perhaps the trumpeter's most approachable and "traditional" group for ages and I think "Time Travel" is probably the ideal introduction to this musician's music.
In what has already been a very strong year for jazz releases (with fantastic efforts by Wayne Shorter, John Hollenbeck and Nicole Mitchell) "Time Travel" is still going to be amongst the contenders for best album of 2013. The opening track offers an almost Blue Note kind of groove before there is a gear shift in the music. Whilst Dave Douglas has been for me the dominant voice on trumpet since the 1990's, this record also demonstrates that he has also been amongst jazz's finest composers. The arrangements are packed full of variety and the tunes are, at first listen, memorable.
His fellow musicians on this record are also hugely impressive. I love the eccentricies of Jon Iragbagon's tenor which seems to ping off in all sorts of directions even through in a quote from Monk's "Epistrophy" in one solo. The pianist Matt Mitchell is a new name to me and his playing grabbed my attention from the off his his creativity. Linda Oh provides the anchor on bass and the under-rated Rudy Royston lays down the groove with some tight drumming.
Although this band made it's recording debut on the personal "Be Still", this disc offers the band more scope to open up and express itself. I'm a bit partisan insofar that I'm a massive fan of Dave Douglas' music and probably have more records by him in my collection than any other musician. Even in comparison with his previous efforts, this is a very good record indeed - although I do think he is consistantly excellent. All in all, DD fans will want this record and I think those unfamiliar with his work will find this a terrific example of what his music is about. Traditional (and almost "Trad" on the track "Beware of Doug"), Dsve Douglas typifies what great jazz should be in 2013. Recommended.
3 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?