Dave Douglas

Magic Triangle

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

This intriguing quartet consisting of trumpeter Dave Douglas, tenor saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist James Genus and drummer Ben Perowsky features free bop, some sound explorations, and straight-ahead sections in its music (nine originals by Douglas). Where detractors were able to question the musicianship of some of the mid-1960s avant-gardists, there is no doubt that these four young masters are powerful and technically skilled players. In fact, some listeners will probably be surprised to hear Potter (formerly with Red Rodney's Quintet and a leader on his own dates for the Concord label) in this setting. It is fortunate that Douglas is as strong a player as he is, for otherwise he might have been overshadowed by Potter. Bassist Genus and drummer Perowsky not only offer stimulating support, but constant commentary that inspires the lead voices. Falling between hard bop and avant-garde jazz, the music tugs and pushes at the boundaries of the modern mainstream. Douglas varies the tempos and moods from piece to piece, giving listeners not only expertly played performances but a constantly flowing program. Although none of the individual selections have themes that will stay in one's mind after the CD has ended, the solos are consistently strong, the musicians blend together well, and the ensembles are colorful. Well worth exploring.

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