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New Century, Same Genius: Ornette Coleman at JVC

Dave Douglas

As trumpeter and bandleader-conceptualist, Dave Douglas has been so creatively vital in the realm of 21st century jazz that it’s hard to believe he isn’t better-known outside of jazz’s insider circles. He is a habitual poll-winner, a restless maker of projects, a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient and now the proud mini-mogul of his own artist-run label, Greenleaf Music, which recently released his new quintet project, Meaning and Mystery. The adventure continues.

When Douglas’ quintet recently descended into the jazz temple of the Village Vanguard for a week, the context and resulting atmosphere was at once reverent and raucous, cerebral and viscerally juicy. Douglas, who takes his kudos in stride and never seems to let it go to his head or disrupt his aesthetic flow, would have it no other way. Late on a Wednesday night/Thursday morning at the Vanguard, the group summoned up plenty of meaning and mystery.

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