This quintet has acquired legendary status as a working unit...all the musicians are exemplary at their craft and DD is one of my 'Big5'...he is an exquisite composer of both depth and breadth of vision...you can instantly recognise Dave's DNA in a tune...what's more, you feel there is also so much more to come!;his powers of expression are so special. These compositions are from the heart and I can only suggest that you take them to yours...
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Dave's longstanding quintet, one of the best bands working in jazz today, featuring Jon Irabagon (saxophones), Matt Mitchell (piano), Linda Oh (bass) and Rudy Royston (drums). Brazen Heart is a heart-felt remembrance of Douglas' brother, featuring a batch of great new original compositions, as well as two spirituals, Deep River and There Is A Balm In Gilead. This new material grew out of the band's extensive travels around the United State and Europe in Douglas' 50th birthday year.
Liner notes from Dave Douglas:
“Brazen Heart” was composed on a commission from the Ecstatic Music Festival for a program to be performed at the World Trade Center site in downtown New York. How do you respond to the tremendous losses that seem to keep coming in this new century? Love. Love, and more love is the only answer. To invest more heart and soul into our project, to bring to bear all the passion and compassion that we can.
This collection is dedicated to the life and spirit of Damon Greenleaf Douglas III.
“Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. ” - Viktor E. Frankl
“Deep River” and “There Is A Balm In Gilead” are some of the most emotionally profound melodies I know. “Hawaiian Punch, ” “Inure Phase,” “Lone Wolf,” “Miracle Gro,” “Ocean Spray,” “Pyrrhic Apology,” and “Variable Current” all grew out of this band's experiences touring the United States and Europe. I continue to learn from these great friends of mine in the Quintet. They are among the finest players out there, and as a team they reach new heights in every performance. As central as the quintet ideal is to my vision as a composer, Jon, Matt, Linda, and Rudy are central to my ability to put together a package such as this.
We end on an upbeat note, with Wake Up Claire. It was inspired by and written for titan of the tenor Donny McCaslin, in which we see Donny, in the middle of the night, practicing up a storm while his darling daughter Claire tries to sleep. Claire, if and when you read this, know that we all love you and your brother Henry immensely and we look forward to discovering the bright future you will surely bring to us.
released October 2, 2015
Dave Douglas - trumpet and compositions
Jon Irabagon - saxophones
Matt Mitchell - piano
Linda Oh - bass
Rudy Royston - drums
All compositions and arrangements by Dave Douglas (Dave Douglas Music / BMI) except “Deep River” (traditional) and “There Is A Balm in Gilead” (traditional).
Produced by Dave Douglas
Recorded February 3, 2015 at Bunker Studios, Brooklyn, NY
Recording engineer: Aaron Nevezie
Assistant: Neal Shaw
Mixed and Mastered by Tyler McDiarmid of Geoff and Tyler Recording
Package Design by Jim Tuerk
Cover photo by Margaret DeRose
Interior photo by Christoph Green
Back photo by Eve Trojanov