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Spirit Moves by Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy

Dave Douglas’s first studio album in 3 years Spirit Moves released on his own Greenleaf Music label has him teamed up with a brass section of some renown. The quartet of horns blows through eleven songs, eight originals, three of which are dedicated to trumpeters who have inspired him, "Bowie" (Lester), "Rava" (Enrico) and "Fats" (Navarro). The three cover songs are interesting selections reinterpreted for brass - Rufus Wainwright’s "This Love Affair", Ottis Redding’s "Mr. Pitiful" and Hank Williams, "I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry". The combination of horns and drums has a grand simpatico. Combining tones to resonate in full orchestration and building a lush backdrop of glowing jazz brass ecstasy.

The recording opens with the Wainwright folk song "This Love Affair" taking on a somber mood with oom-pah-pah tuba meeting jazz funeral procession. The upfront brass by way of trumpet sets down a blazing trail of notes, a highly structured ensemble with the leader singing on trumpet the melody of the song in dark and stormy timbre. A tribute song with respect to all who came before or so it seems as you picture the friends and family following the band.

The covers are all about the blues in the case of "Mr. Pitiful" the band plays it with a Dixieland swing feel. A happy go lucky groove that finds the brass playing off each other in delightful harmony. The closer "I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry" could very easily be considered jazz Taps; you would be hard pressed to find a more somber mood at a military funeral.

The trumpet tribute songs; "Bowie" conveys the spirit of Lester Bowie accurately, with humour, satire and daring. "Rava" conveying a minimalist approach with a maximum of melodic beauty. "Fats" a wonderful tribute to one of the best of the bebop trumpeters.

Other original tracks that find the brass shinning brightly, include "Orujo" a grand bold sound that is as smooth as honey in listening pleasure. "The View From Blue Mountain" features a great tuba line that carries the bottom end and sets the tone for deep excitement. The horns up front get wild and mix it up with abandon, returning to peace and tranquility through the lush melody for the tail end of the tune. The song "Great Awakening" sounds like a grand American anthem. Traditional Americana, a coming of age story, a reawakening of the spirit of discovery all told through the blazing horns of Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy Spirit Moves.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy
  • CD Title: Spirit Moves
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: Greenleaf Music
  • Tracks: This Love Affair, Orujo, The View From Blue Mountain, Twilight Of The Dogs, Bowie, Rava, Fats, The Brass Ring, Mr. Pitiful, Great Awakening, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
  • Musicians: Dave Douglas (trumpet), Luis Bonilla (trombone), Vincent Chancey (French horn), Marcus Rojas (tuba), Nasheet Waits (drums)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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