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Live at TSRI: Dave Douglas Quintet

One of this year's best concerts, for sure.

Dan Atkinson and the folks at Athenaeum Jazz pulled off one the best concerts of 2013 with the Oct. 9 appearance of the Dave Douglas Quintet-- a riveting and perfectly paced concert that rippled with muscular solos and compostional detail.

Beginning with the through-composed "Law Of Historical Memory," pianist Bobby Avey's repeated chord clanged while Rudy Royston's hi-hat sizzled asymmetrically like a rotating lawn-sprinkler having a seizure. Douglas and tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon laid out the lugubrious theme over the throb of Linda Oh's resonant bass. Throughout, Royston's waves of percussive assault kept the tune's energy at an ecstatic level.

Douglas and Irabagon wove around each other like strands of a double-helix on "Bridge To Nowhere," a loose and swinging groove that sounded like blend of Ornette Coleman and Art Blakey. Avey's clusters lurched with spastic repetitions, branching out with short melodic phrases. Irabagon began with a Wayne Shorter quote then dialed into a dialog with Royston whose fusillades drove him into hoarse spirals and exclamatory screams. Douglas soloed last, mounting tough elliptical lines that suddenly rocketed into the ionosphere.

There was a wonderful dynamic plot-plan, both in the arc of compositions, like the beautifully drawn "This Is My Father's World," a ballad where Douglas soared and Irabagon answered with fleet, honeyed curlicues, and the molten swing of "Beware of Doug," a tune fueled by Royston's onslaught. Douglas can play fast and high with the best of them-- however, it's the actual content inside the velocity that really sings.

Irabagon is developing into a singular aesthetic. For now, imagine a synthesis of Joe Henderson and Archie Shepp. On the spiritual "Whither I Must Wander," Douglas and Avey began in duet, a sublime mix of rhapsodic harmonies and gently slurred chromatic connections driven into a trance-like world by the inclusion of Oh's arco and Royston's feathery brushes.

Oh herself was a revelation: solid, wood-grained pulse that never wavered despite the shape-shifting meters, and her solos were cogent bits of instant melody.

Satisfying on all levels, this is what jazz is supposed to sound like.

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Dan Atkinson and the folks at Athenaeum Jazz pulled off one the best concerts of 2013 with the Oct. 9 appearance of the Dave Douglas Quintet-- a riveting and perfectly paced concert that rippled with muscular solos and compostional detail.

Beginning with the through-composed "Law Of Historical Memory," pianist Bobby Avey's repeated chord clanged while Rudy Royston's hi-hat sizzled asymmetrically like a rotating lawn-sprinkler having a seizure. Douglas and tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon laid out the lugubrious theme over the throb of Linda Oh's resonant bass. Throughout, Royston's waves of percussive assault kept the tune's energy at an ecstatic level.

Douglas and Irabagon wove around each other like strands of a double-helix on "Bridge To Nowhere," a loose and swinging groove that sounded like blend of Ornette Coleman and Art Blakey. Avey's clusters lurched with spastic repetitions, branching out with short melodic phrases. Irabagon began with a Wayne Shorter quote then dialed into a dialog with Royston whose fusillades drove him into hoarse spirals and exclamatory screams. Douglas soloed last, mounting tough elliptical lines that suddenly rocketed into the ionosphere.

There was a wonderful dynamic plot-plan, both in the arc of compositions, like the beautifully drawn "This Is My Father's World," a ballad where Douglas soared and Irabagon answered with fleet, honeyed curlicues, and the molten swing of "Beware of Doug," a tune fueled by Royston's onslaught. Douglas can play fast and high with the best of them-- however, it's the actual content inside the velocity that really sings.

Irabagon is developing into a singular aesthetic. For now, imagine a synthesis of Joe Henderson and Archie Shepp. On the spiritual "Whither I Must Wander," Douglas and Avey began in duet, a sublime mix of rhapsodic harmonies and gently slurred chromatic connections driven into a trance-like world by the inclusion of Oh's arco and Royston's feathery brushes.

Oh herself was a revelation: solid, wood-grained pulse that never wavered despite the shape-shifting meters, and her solos were cogent bits of instant melody.

Satisfying on all levels, this is what jazz is supposed to sound like.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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