Dave Douglas Septet

DAVID WAKEFIELD The pioneering spirit has always been strong in America, and in jazz terms New York trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas exemplifies this tradition. In only 10 years as a recording artist he has stacked up an incredible 19 albums, and has won a packet of awards on the way.

DAVID WAKEFIELD

The pioneering spirit has always been strong in America, and in jazz terms New York trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas exemplifies this tradition. In only 10 years as a recording artist he has stacked up an incredible 19 albums, and has won a packet of awards on the way.

Although his music, by its very nature, is difficult to pin down, that overworked cliché "cutting edge" will do for now. Listen and you will hear rock, folk, classical, pop and contemporary influences at work, sometimes against each other. Virtuoso guitar licks and drumming patterns that would not be out of place in a rock concert contrast with strident trumpet and whirling seas of electronics. The inspiration for all this? Douglas claims that his influences range from Stravinsky to Coltrane and Stevie Wonder but are mainly sparked by the great American jazz tradition; his quirky tribute to New Orleans was an enjoyable and humorous interlude.

The Septet is one of several combinations currently being used by Douglas (another includes saxist Chris Potter and keyboard man Uri Caine, both of whom played in last year's festival) and features saxist Seamus Blake and incredible guitarist David Gilmour (no, not THE David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fame) in the front line with Douglas. Last night's concert featured numbers from his new album Freak In – although their identity was not passed on to those in the audience who did not possess said album. A pity.

t The Dave Douglas Septet were performing at NorwichPlayhouse.

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