REVIEW: Dave Douglas @ PDX Jazz Fest (Portland, OR – 2/28/10)
Right on the heels of Portland Jazz Fest‘s Dave Holland Quintet and Pharoah Sanders, was Dave Douglas and his Brass Ecstasy band – the capper to the festival. I’d seen Dave Douglas four times before, twice with John Zorn‘s Masada quartet and twice with SF Jazz Collective (with Joe Lovano, Miguel Zenon and others). I was looking forward to seeing my first show with Dave Douglas as primary bandleader.
This new band of his features Dave Douglas on trumpet, Vincent Chancey on french horn, Luis Bonilla on trombone, Marcus Rojas on tuba, and Nasheet Waits on drums. Their debut album, Spirit Moves, came out last year, and it was in my Top 5 Instrumental Albums from 2009. Go get it!
They hit the stage shortly after 7:30pm and went right into the title track from their record, “Spirit Moves.” It’s a fun number and a great start to the set. Right after that, they did a lengthy version of “Bowie,” which is dedicated to Lester Bowie. It was fun to see that song breathe and take over the room. I’m also impressed by Luis Bonilla’s soloing on it. It has to be difficult to solo on a trombone…
The trombone, horn, and definitely tuba drive the sound of this band to a familiar New Orleans street band – which I’d imagine was what Dave Douglas was aiming his sights towards. Marcus Rojas also did some “tuba beat boxing” to mix things up.
I knew all of the songs they played, but luckily Dave announced them from the stage (yay, I didn’t have to keep them all up in my head)…
Setlist: about 90 minutes
- Spirit Moves
- I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams)
- Awake Nu (Don Cherry)
- The Brass Ring (with drum solo)
- Mr Pitiful (Otis Redding)
- Encore: Twilight of the Dogs
All members got their fair share of solos. The drum solo on “The Brass Ring” was fantastic, and Dave Douglas’s trumpet solos were colorful and vibrant, as usual. Favorites of the night were the bebop of “Fats,” and the acrobatic trumpet on “Rava.” Dave played a lot of that song off mic, yet his sound carried throughout the room. Thank you Portland Jazz Fest! It was a wonderful weekend of great music. See you next year!
I took a few iPhone photos. I wish I was able to bring in my regular camera, as I was right up front and the iPhone only takes marginal photos at best (::sigh::). Anyway, check out my photos below, or check the link at the bottom for PDX Jazz’s Flickr photo stream.
DAVE DOUGLAS’ BRASS ECSTASY PHOTOS
these pictures are (cc) 2010 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution
(click for larger)
For photos from this and other PDX Jazz shows, check out PDX Jazz’s flickr stream:
The Appropriate Linkage:
- Dave Douglas’s Site
- Dave Douglas on MySpace
- Greenleaf Music (Dave’s Record Label)
- PDX Jazz Fest
- Crystal Ballroom
- Oregon Music News‘s Review of the Show