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'Three Views' Of Trumpeter Dave Douglas

Dave Douglas' <em>Three Views</em> box set collects three very different quintet albums, featuring So Percussion, his Brass Esctasy band and a group featuring Ravi Coltrane and Vijay Iyer.
Zoran Orlic
Dave Douglas' <em>Three Views</em> box set collects three very different quintet albums, featuring So Percussion, his Brass Esctasy band and a group featuring Ravi Coltrane and Vijay Iyer.

There's a nice contrast among the three quintets heard on Dave Douglas' Three Views, sketching out some of his interests. There's no overlapping repertoire or personnel. The Orange Afternoons session features the elastic rhythm trio of pianist Vijay Iyer, Linda Oh on bass and drummer Marcus Gilmore. The trumpeter shares the front line with slinky tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane.

These programs are kept short, averaging about 40 minutes each, like an LP. Dave Douglas says they're meant to recall the informal albums jazz musicians recorded in the 1950s. But these sessions don't sound like one-day quickies, no matter how fast they came together.

The most seasoned of the three quintets in Douglas' new box is Brass Ecstasy, a sort of pocket edition of the late trumpeter Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy. It even has Brass Fantasy alums Vincent Chancey on French horn, trombonist Luis Bonilla and tuba piledriver Marcus Rojas. But this quintet has its own blend — one you can't build in a day. It's a great setting for the leader's trumpet; his ripe tone sounds gorgeous, rising out of the pack.

I like the way the trio of CDs in Three Views set each other off. A standard jazz quintet is flanked a session for trumpet and four percussion called Bad Mango, and one for drums and four brass. These bands mostly play new material; one exception is Brass Ecstasy's nice reading of Billy Strayhorn's ballad "Lush Life." There's also a deluxe edition of the box that comes with a flash drive including sheet music and video and such — for the superfans. But this music stands up fine all by itself.

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