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Dave Douglas: Stargazer

Subtitled “Music by and for Wayne Shorter,” this recording offers strong support for trumpeter Douglas’ claim to a chair at the table of the most interesting young players on the scene. His sextet, last heard on Douglas’ tribute to Booker Little, In Our Lifetime, suits him well, with its sparrow-like collective ability to turn on a dime, imbuing the sharpest musical gestures and transitions with grace. Douglas’ inventive voicings balance his trumpet against the tenor sax and clarinet of Chris Speed and Joshua Roseman’s trombone; the vitality and interplay of the rhythm section-Uri Caine on piano, James Genus on bass, and the ever-amazing Joey Baron on drums-bring out the best in pulses implied and explicit. Douglas’ ways of playing with time signatures, as on the opening “Spring Ahead” and “Intuitive Science,” engages the listener and complements his timbral ingenuity. The three Shorter compositions are treated with bright-eyed affection rather than awe: not surprisingly, they hold up well.

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