The Dave Douglas Quintet
Trumpeter Dave Douglas is prolific and versatile. Past albums range from sparse trio work to 1970s Miles Davis-style electric jazz. This new release features top young jazz players, mostly eschewing solo virtuosity for clear and concise playing. They emphasize the structure of the songs, many of which are traditional hymns that Douglas’ late mother requested he perform at her funeral. “Be Still My Soul,” the first track, is, quite simply, lovely. “High On a Mountain” provides a jazzy take on Ola Belle Reed’s classic folk lament. Singer/guitarist Aoife O’Donovan, from newgrass band Crooked Still, adds color and variety to much of the disc. Douglas’ horn rings strong and true throughout, providing peaceful reflection and beauty; his mother would have been proud that he not only played her requests at the service, but allowed the world to share in this tribute.