Dave Douglas Time Travel

Dave Douglas Time Travel
8
Veteran trumpeter/composer Dave Douglas has a killer group that plays with passion and virtuosity. Tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon is never less than incendiary and intense, as on album opener "Time Travelers," in which Douglas leads off with a muscular solo, in spots reminiscent alternately of Freddie Hubbard and Kenny Wheeler. Then Irabagon rips into the tune with his beefy tone and rhythmically fluid inventiveness. Bassist Linda Oh and drummer Rudy Royston are always locked into the groove and locked on to the give and take of the soloists and each other, while "Law of Historic Memory" has something rare in contemporary jazz: grandeur. Douglas' composition unfolds with a stately declamation of the theme. Then pianist Matt Mitchell, whose solo sweeps from sensitivity to power and beauty, elevates this track to majesty. "The Pigeon and the Pie" has sparks of inspiration, but doesn't really catch fire; at more than ten minutes in length, it feels like filler compared to the more meaty tunes on the record. However, Time Travel reminds us that exciting, inventive jazz is still alive, championed by musicians like Dave Douglas and his quintet. (Greenleaf Music)