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Dave Douglas & Keystone: Moonshine

Inspired by the unfinished 1917 Buster Keaton/Fatty Arbuckle comedy film Moon-shine, this collection of cutting edge, groove-oriented tunes by Douglas’s electrified, genre-bending Keystone band picks up where 2005’s Keystone left off. Recorded before a live audience at the Mermaid Arts Centre in Bray, Ireland, Moonshine features the returning cast of Gene Lake on drums, Marcus Strickland on tenor sax, Brad Jones on bass and DJ Olive on turntables, with Adam Benjamin replacing Jamie Saft on keyboards.

“Dog Star” echoes some of the spacious, mysterioso vibe of early Weather Report, circa Mysterious Traveller, while also showcasing some bravura turns by the trumpeter-bandleader. The title track is a slamming bit of funk spiced with a healthy dose of reverb on DJ Olive’s percussive turntable work. Douglas and Strickland play cat-and-mouse on top of this surging groove while Lake slams with authority underneath. Benjamin’s slightly distorted Fender Rhodes solo here adds a ’70s retro touch while Strickland’s gutsy tenor solo here is more Wilton Felder than John Coltrane. Douglas’ crackling trumpet solo on this vibrant funk anthem is outstanding.

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