Jazz CD Reviews

Dezron Douglas Quintet – Live At Smalls – SmallsLive

A smart band of forceful improvisors.

Published on January 17, 2013

Dezron Douglas Quintet – Live At Smalls – SmallsLive

Dezron Douglas Quintet – Live At Smalls – SmallsLive SL0028, 58:38 [Distr. By Harmonia mundi] ****:

(Dezron Douglas – bass; Josh Evans – trumpet; Stacy Dillard – tenor sax;   David Bryant – piano; Willie Jones III – drums)

Bassist Dezron Douglas is one of the young lions in jazz today with solid  credentials, and leads a crackling quintet that plays with an affinity and a muscular groove that is readily apparent on this Live At Smalls outing.

As with most post-bop groups, Douglas uses his own composition as a  starting point and then fills-in with those pieces from the bop repertoire such as Barry Harris’ “Bish, Bash, Bop” and Gigi Gryce’s “Minority”. In the case of these two efforts, the group proves to be  cohesive and creative with each member demonstrating their solid credentials for improvisation.

On the first tune, drummer Jones III, shows his intensity with a strong opening, followed by pianist David Bryant who in several choruses confirms he is a polished player. On the latter, the band delivers an interesting opening , then followed by Gryce’s theme, with Stacey Dillard picking up the challenge with several long choruses on soprano sax all the while Jones III provides a challenging beat to support these efforts.

On his own compositions, Douglas and the group are no less inventive or articulate, and demonstrate they are sympathetic and knowledgeable band mates. With “The Puppet” Douglas and Jones III open the tune with several strong choruses of interplay that confirms their probing style. On “Let’s Ride” which seems to have a Horace Silver Quintet feel , trumpeter Josh Evans demonstrates a brawny and tidy form, with saxophonist Dillard offering  a post-Coltrane manifestation.  This a smart band of forceful improvisors .

TrackList: Bish, Bash, Bop; The Puppet; Let’s Ride; Nita; Minority; Power Of One

—Pierre Giroux

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