Dave Douglas

A Thousand Evenings

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By 2000 trumpeter Dave Douglas had etched himself as one of the most versatile, intriguing, and important players and composers on the scene. By leading several groups that successfully focus on particular styles, Douglas had been able to be not only one of the best but also one of the most recorded. A Thousand Evenings was his second album for BMG and his third release of that year. A Thousand Evenings features his Charms of the Night Sky group (also the name of the quartet's 1998 Winter & Winter label debut) with Mark Feldman on violin, Greg Cohen on bass, and the marvelous Guy Klucevsek playing accordion. As with the initial Charms of the Night Sky release, the set list is comprised of flowing chamber jazz pieces that lend themselves to a strange mix of tango, Eastern European folk, and klezmer, all in the framework of the New York downtown jazz scene. The title song is a beautiful engaging opening number that floats along with Douglas blowing right on top. Highlighting one of the most important factors of this group is Klucevsek's accordion playing: He adds a great deal to the density and also to the rhythm of this music. "Variety," a solo accordion piece, clearly demonstrates that fact. There's also an entertaining reworking of the James Bond theme "Goldfinger." A Thousand Evenings is an example of great musicians keeping their ideals straight in the oft-murky landscape of major-label contemporary jazz, and is highly recommended.

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