scott dubois Autumn Wind (digipak CD, £13.95)
In a period in which the boundaries between musical genres are rapidly dissolving, there still exist major differences between what we still call a “jazz” band and those of other musical classifications. Perhaps the most significant of these is that longevity in a jazz ensemble will nearly always have an entirely positive effect on the music. That’s clearly a huge factor when listening to the high-caliber international quartet put together over a decade ago by the New York-based guitarist-composer Scott DuBois. It features the in-demand NYC double bassist Thomas Morgan (the current duo partner of Bill Frisell no less), the virtuoso German multi-reedsman Gebhard Ullmann and the outstanding Danish drummer Kresten Osgood. Now 39, DuBois, who studied at the Manhattan School of Music and made the semi-finals of the 2005 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Guitar Competition, and Thomas Morgan go back a long way to DuBois‘ debut album Monsoon (2004) and Tempest (2006) on the Soul Note label, both featuring the master US saxophonist Dave Liebman. Ullmann and Osgood joined the quartet in 2007 and the group released the albums Banshees (2008), Black Hawk Dance (2010) which won a five-star rating in DownBeat, and Landscape Scripture (2012) which was named as one of the “Top 10 Jazz Albums of 2012” by National Public Radio. • In 2015 DuBois‘s quartet released their stunning Munich-based ACT label debut, Winter Light. The distinguished UK-based author Richard Williams of popular blog TheBlueMoment.com remarked that Winter Light, “evokes the example of Claude Monet in his desire to capture the shifting light in changing seasons.” • The new release, Autumn Wind, is a close relation; it can similarly be likened to a thematically-linked series of paintings in an art exhibition. DuBois takes the “seasons” concept to a whole new level with a series of pieces in celebration of the restless, unpredictable nature of autumn. • At each step of the way, DuBois’ quartet takes us on a mesmerisingly impressionistic musical journey that is an organic yet highly cohesive mix of elements drawn from the likes of modern jazz, contemporary classical music and Americana.
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