Dave Douglas: trumpet; Shigeto: electronics; Jonathan Maron: bass; Mark Guiliana: drums.
For his new album entitled “Dark Territory”, the versatile trumpeter Dave Douglas reunites the same quartet that conceived the successful “High Risk”, one of the highlights of last year’s jazz releases. Together, they plunge into an inventive electronic music populated by deft ideas that rely on atmospherically jazzy melodies over dusky textures.
“Celine” is a great opening, incorporating downtempo grooves underneath an assertive melodic speech. Actually, I felt this particular tune wanders more on light rather than dark territories.
A consistent hip-hop beat breaks out from “All The Pretty Horsepower”, where Shigeto’s effects draw darker atmospheres increased by the bandleader’s melodic lines. This menacing undertone is repeated in the intro of “Let's Get One Thing Straight”, which gains an attractive beat enriched by the funky bass drives of Maron and the usage of voice samples.
After the astuteness presented in “Mission Acropolis”, “Ridge Hill” conveys a busy urban feeling through a twitchy pulse. Douglas excels throughout an outstanding solo delivered with intense feeling and adorned with unimpeachable effects.
“Neural”, marked by a highly syncopated rhythm, is quite surprising as its anatomic variations keep on flowing with rigorous dexterity. Douglas spreads the immensity of his warm sound all over, showing his incredible technique without resorting to any type of fireworks.
Even not reaching the levels of satisfaction of “High Risk”, “Dark Territories” is encircled by this disarming consistency that very much cultivates the fresh experimental current that Douglas resolved to grasp.
01 – Celine ► 05 – Ridge Hill ► 06 – Neural