If a man can be known by his friends, the personnel on the first CD of Derek Douget speaks to the quality of the young musician. Jazz luminaries including Ellis Marsalis, Jason Marsalis, Roland Geurin, and Nicholas Payton join Douget on the saxophonist's 2002 CD release, Perpetual Motion, which features original material mostly penned by Douget and Jason Marsalis.
On Perpetual Motion, it is Douget's turn to lead the band, after playing sideman on so many recordings with his musical colleagues. His hot alto and soprano saxophone riffs have won accolades from the critics, and can be heard on recordings such as Jason Marsalis' Year of the Drummer and Music in Motion, as well as Guerin's You Don't Have to See It to Believe It and Roland Guerin: Live at the Blue Note.
Douget's work on these CDs exhibits the range of the talented musician. He blows it all out on "Madness," and in turn gets soulful on "Death March of Our Time," joyful on "Da Homey Dance," bluesy on "Penelope," and spiritual on "Trust, Trust Jesus."
All of Douget's interpretations are informed by the unique perspective that his hometown New Orleans seems to impart to its native sons. While the material may vary, the music always swings with that peculiar Afro-Caribbean influence the Crescent City embodies. It's in the blood, and it comes from sitting in on gigs with great musicians, both known and unknown outside of the city.
Douget's work schedule is a case in point. One might hear him over at the Funky Butt, one of the city's hottest venues, playing with the Jesse Lewis Union; then at Cafe Brazil, gigging with the local Afro-Cuban group, Mas Mamones; and then catch his solo performance at the city's premier contemporary jazz club, Snug Harbor. As a musician, he embodies the title of his new CD, for he is a man in perpetual motion.