Some musicians seem to go through a great deal of their lives unnoticed and underappreciated even by the cognoscenti. Larry Douglas is one of them. Listening to Dedicatorias Dos you will wonder why. Whether playing trumpet or trombone; even that whimsical instrument – mallet kat – he is a master. On horns especially Mr. Douglas has a beautiful, rounded tone and assiduously effected tempo relationships that will satisfy even the most demanding listeners. His approach to melody is wonderful; with lines slightly tapering at the end of theme phrases though often his voicings often suggest a general emphasis of colour over line.
On this smartly produced album he is joined by an equally reticent musician, the percussionist Jorge Pineda, whose curvier approach to Latin percussion and improvisational fluency make for a shimmering partnership with jazz idiom perpetuated by the masterful Larry Douglas. Together the two men share a common scrupulous feel for articulation and attention to dynamics. This gives energy and drama to the music on this album. All of this makes the cumulative momentum fascinating to follow as it all unfolds here. What an inspired move it is to put the Latin rhythms of Mr. Pineda on a collision course with the big brassy sound of the rest of the Alltet.
It is quite obvious from the very beginning that this is going to be an album bursting with visceral excitement and unalloyed energy. Music in the Latin and Jazz idioms features the volcanic heat of brass and winds in collusion with frenetic rhythms. This aspect is heightened here by the vivacious partnership of Larry Douglas and his horns, the rest of the horn section and a brilliant percussion team led by Jorge Pineda. All of a sudden you can perceive the opening up of colouristic possibilities coupled with propulsion that gives the music a real one-in-a-bar feel. You can sense a glorying in the physicality of the music as well as its cerebral demands – whether it is on “Jammin’ in the Boro” or the re-imagining of “Butterfly” or even in the brooding and beautiful “Traces…”
In the poetic “Traces” there is the suggestion that all is not pomp and circumstance but also delicate and understated beauty. Here, especially in the trombone solo, you get a feeling that high drama can be set aside for warmth and untarnished atmosphere. Coming late in the album it almost takes you by surprise, but I would rather settle for ‘later’ than ‘never at all’. Masterful musical gesture abounds here in both the solo parts and especially in the ensemble sections and this – for want of a better word – tracery continues through “Untitled” to the end of the album, by the end of which you are left wanting more.
Overall this repertoire is an appealing addition to the catalogue of both musicians. It certainly matches the combination of acute musicality and profound intelligence of Larry Douglas as well as Jorge Pineda. A thoroughly enjoyable disc from every aspect.
Track List: Jammin’ in the Boro; Beaute’ Tropical; Butterfly; Just Like That; Traces in Memories of (Ennis W. Cosby and Josquin X. Grant); People Make The World Go Round; Illusions; Traces; Untitled; Dedicatorias.
Personnel: Larry Douglas: trumpet, trombone, mallet kat and vocals; Jorge Pineda: timbales, bongos, vocals and percussion; Steve Marshall: flute, tenor and baritone saxophones; Michael J. Turre: flute, soprano and tenor saxophones; Rick Brown: trombone; Roy Brown: piano; Ricardo Aguilar: congas; Ryan Lukas: acoustic and electric bass.
Label: Swajola Musique and Rekords Company
Release date: April 2015
Running time: 1:03:21
Buy music on: amazon