Working in the creative improvised arena, Scott DuBois has played with little fanfare or attention in the general scheme of things over three previous recordings. Black Hawk Dance should change whatever perception the jazz world may have had of the electric guitarist, as this album certainly is his breakthrough effort. Working for a second time around with experts like woodwind veteran Gebhard Ullmann, and fellow rising stars such as bassist Thomas Morgan or drummer Kresten Osgood, helps the chances of making this album a successful new music journey. Where a fusion of styles is expected, the fluidity of DuBois, and the toned-down, restrained ease with which he steams through these originals is alluring and attractive, not to mention that Ullmann's contributions are consistently complementary and always brilliantly conceived. They do bop along on the fresh and bright "River Life" or the busier, free "Dust Celebration," with DuBois and Ullmann's lines hand in hand. For the most part, you hear a low-key sound from the guitarist, like a hymnal, but in only one instance is it snarly and loud. It is the title track where the band shows its broad-based concept, from a churning beat and circular guitar movements to Ullmann's bass clarinet singing, then into freedom and a soulful repast. It's clear a lot of work, passion, and craftsmanship have gone into this effort, recorded in Leipzig, Germany with renewed purpose and resolve. Pick up on this unique recording, and you'll be rewarded by its intelligence and depth of spirit.
Black Hawk Dance Review
by Michael G. Nastos