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Doug Beavers Set To Release New Album: “Luna”

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Doug Beavers
Trombonist Doug Beavers - Photo by Adrian Montañez

GRAMMY® award-winning producer, composer, trombonist and arranger Doug Beavers is thrilled to announce the June 30, 2023 release of Luna, his sixth leader recording, via his own label Circle 9 Records. Esteemed “master of transformative artistry” (Raul da Gama, Latin Jazz Net), Beavers is known widely as a leading trombonist of his time, as well as a member of the multi-GRAMMY® award-winning ensemble Spanish Harlem Orchestra. His critically-received 2020 predecessor Sol explored a dozen original compositions which blended salsa with styles of Afro-Latin, R&B and Soul. Luna continues an expedition across a terrain of similar rhythmic styles, this time infused predominantly with Latin Jazz.

In that regard, Luna is both a sonic counterbalance to Sol as well as a conceptual one—Luna, the moon, is the celestial opposite to the sun. In 2021, Chamber Music America commissioned the Luna Suite, the first half of the record, through a New Jazz Works grant funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Beavers composed the suite while taking a residency in Sitges, Spain along the Mediterranean Sea. 

Doug Beavers: Luna
Doug Beavers: Luna

The ocean’s melodic inspiration is referenced throughout Luna, including the aptly-named “Tidal”, an up-tempo parade for Beavers’ horn ensemble buoyed by modern harmonic edges of pianist Gabriel Chakarji. The tune serves as a proper introduction to the album’s joyous sensations, while also toying with ideas of gravitational interaction between the Sun, Moon and Earth. As Michael Ambrosino aptly observes in the album liner notes, the arrangement incorporates “wave after wave of layered intention.”

Beavers continues to unearth supernatural imagery with “Reflejo del Sol”, once more reminding us of Luna’s precursor, while “Multicolores” also takes a page from the Nuyorican salsa dura components sitting at the heart of Sol. Featuring the potent lyricism of flutist-vocalist Jeremy Bosch, the spirited tune accentuates a concept near and dear to Doug Beavers: that versatility and variety are both beautiful and transcendent. Title track “Luna” complements this notion with a more whimsical design sketched in the Cuban bolero format.

In the meantime, the second half of Luna, what Beavers calls “Phase 2”, was sourced at home, amid sporadic and occasional moments of pause in his bustling career in New York’s music scene. The trombonist’s precise arranging tendencies continue to shine in varying degrees here, which titans Joe Locke, Robby Ameen and Paul Bollenback augment on the refined groove “Sea.” 

The 11-track collection features all original compositions with the exception of “Flor de Lis”, where Beavers unites an entourage of trombonists Max Seigel, Conrad Herwig and Francisco Torres for a reimagination of the timeless 1976 Brazilian classic. The album swirls romantically on its finale “Sands of Time” through the brilliant, razor-sharp rhythmic dexterity of percussionists Luisito Quintero and Robby Ameen who ride in the luscious company of bassist Luques Curtis’ rock solid tumbao. As the tune progresses, an exquisite gospel offering from vocalist Ada Dyer signals that the end is near, affirmed by the sign-off of trombones and french horns and casting listeners into repose.

“Working in this context, I was able to get more personal with the music on Luna,” Beavers shared in a statement, referring to the Latin Jazz lens in which Luna gestated. At once sensitive, adventurous, soulful and meditative, Luna culminates the vast inner workings of a master composer of boundless sensibility and epic ambition.

YouTube Video – Doug Beavers: Luna Promo

Content Source: Lydia Liebman Promotions

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