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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dave Douglas & Sō Percussion - Bad Mango (Greenleaf, 2011) ****

By Stef

Of all of today's musicians, Dave Douglas is one of the best promoters of his music, with up-to-date website, special offers, client databases, subscriber services and regular mailings. One of his brainchilds was the "digital only" releases of his Greenleaf Portable Series, destined of iTunes and other mobile devices. Quickly recorded albums in the traditional spirit of jazz, easy to consume maybe ... but the concept got traction and is now released in hard copy too ... the upside down world.

Anyway, the Greenleaf Portable Series has three albums, "Rare Metals" with an all-brass band, "Orange Afternoon", a more mainstream album also featuring Ravi Coltrane and Vijay Iyer, but the real treat in my ears is "Bad Mango", with Douglas on trumpet in great interaction with "Sō Percussion",consisting of the four master percussionists Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, Jason Treuting and Eric Beach. The result is great. Very spontaneous, rhythmic (to be expected from a percussion quartet), yet also very melodious (to be expected from Douglas), ranging from melancholgy blues ("One Shot") to crazy adventures ("Time Leveler"), but the immediacy the fun and the explorative nature of the music make this so much more "jazz" than the other two, more polished albums. Great playing, real jazz!

 Listen and download from Greenleaf.

© stef