Ottawa Jazz Festival, Days 4-8: June 21-23, 2012
By: John Kelman
If OIJF festival director Catherine O’Grady was responsible for getting the world premier of Prism, she also deserves credit for bringing trumpeter Dave Douglas and saxophonist Joe Lovano’s nascent Sound Prints group-also featuring pianist Lawrence Fields, up-and-coming bassist Linda Oh and, perhaps only in competition for the title “happiest drummer in jazz” with Matt Wilson, perennial favorite Joey Baron-for its second of just three North American dates before, like Holland, heading across the Atlantic for a 12-date European tour, followed by a return to the US in August for (so far) an additional two dates, and yet another transatlantic flight for 13 additional European shows, coming home again and finishing up the year with a week-long run at the Village Vanguard.
The NAC Studio was the perfect venue for the group, and if the material was unfamiliar-there’s no record, at least not yet-it was another case, like Holland and Prism, of a group so new to the material that fireworks began going off from the get-go. Any group that has Baron in the engine room is assured an intrinsic rhythmic unpredictability, as the drummer pushed the pulse but peppered it with unexpected punctuations-at times, all the more dramatic for his complete command of dynamics, as he went from thundering explosions to quiet but fervent swing, all at the drop of a hat.
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