Track listing: 1. Ruckus 2.Witness 3.One More News 4. Women At Point A Zero 5. Kidnapping Kissinger 6. Mahfouz 7. Episode for Taslima Nasrin 8. Child of all Nations 9. Sozaboy
Personnel: Dave Douglas, trumpet, processed trumpet AM radio; Chris Speed, Clarinet tenor saxophone; Joe Daley, tuba; Mark Feldman, violin; Erik Friedlander, cello; Drew Gress, bass; Bryan Carrott, vibraphone, marimba, glockenspiel; Michael Sarin, drums; Ikue Mori, electronic percussion; Joshua Roseman, trombone (1,4,6,9); Yuka Honda, sampler (1,6); Tom Waits, voice (6)
Songs of protest are not new to Jazz. Twenty years before the civil-rights moment The force of Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" slapped her audiences with a wake-up check. John Coltrane penned a tune in the sixty's title Alabama, which was a statement on the struggle in the south at the time.
Now in the 21st century we have Dave Douglas's new cd title "Witness".
The people Douglas has chosen to pay tribute to are from all parts of the world. Mahfouz, the Egyptian novelist and feminist Nawal El Saddawi. The exiled Bangladeshi poet Taslima Nasrin, and Indonesian author Pramoedya Ananta Toer. But the one title that I find intriguing is the darkest toned deicated To the Palestinian-American intellectual Edward Said. Despised by more than a few American Jews for his outspoken opposition to Israeli policies in the occupied West Bank.
This ensemble has only eleven musicians, but the depth of Douglass' writing often give the illusion of an orchestra.
Douglass' trumpet is the main voice, but pay close attention to Joe Daley's tuba. His contribution on keeping of time is superior. There are some interesting things going on in this cd and is well worth your while to take some time and listen.
by Richton Guy Thomas
Jazz Now Interactive
Copyright Jazz Now, October 2002 issue, all rights reserved