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Dave Dougas: Time Travel

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When Dave Douglas unveiled his new acoustic quintet last year, it was with an atypical project: Be Still, a pastoral collection of folk songs and hymns that his mother had requested for her funeral, and the first-ever Douglas album to feature a vocalist (Aoife O’Donovan). It was a moving, gorgeous recording, but its unusual nature didn’t answer the question of how this new lineup might function in Douglas’ more typical outings.

That answer now arrives in the form of Time Travel, an all-instrumental session that may well be the most mainstream jazz album Douglas has ever released. The first thing you hear on the album is the finger-snapping hard-bop riff that introduces “Bridge to Nowhere.” Like all seven of these lengthy tracks, this one is the leader’s composition, but the head sounds as if it was recorded by Horace Silver or Art Blakey before Douglas was born.

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