Strange Liberation

Release date
27 Jan 2004
Running length
11 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 A Single Sky 2:05 5,556
2 Strange Liberation 8:03 5,247
3 Skeeter-ism 5:59 5,111
4 Just Say This 6:32 5,193
5 Seventeen 8:42 4,562
6 Mountains from the Train 5:17 2,957
7 Rock of Billy 5:55 2,836
8 The Frisell Dream 3:55 2,696
9 Passing Through 1:39 5,118
10 The Jones 4:23 2,699
11 Catalyst 5:13 3,126

About this album

On Strange Liberation — a play on a phrase of Martin Luther King’s; he once said that the Vietnamese must have seen Americans as “strange liberators” — trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas expands his quintet to realize a long-held ambition: to have guitarist Bill Frisell in the ranks of his group. Douglas has once again stepped back from the precipice of his intense gaze at the musical landscape of American culture and turned his focus directly and intensely toward jazz for this set. Along with Frisell, pianist Uri Caine, saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist James Genus, and drummer Clarence Penn join Douglas for an electric jazz outing that falls far outside the purview of “fusion.” Douglas has obviously composed these works with Frisell in mind, and this is his most saturated jazz date in some time. His playing here is front-line and full of his trademark counterpoint and atmospheric fills, as Douglas engages both the pastoral nature and the complexity of his harmonic view, making Caine a conflating bridge between the horns, guitar, and rhythm section. The album starts with a sparse melodic figure that borders on modalism in “A Single Sky,” Frisell’s microphonics holding the edges of the piece in check as Douglas and Potter weave through Caine’s beautiful chord voicings in a minor progression. The title track uses a blues framework that allows Caine to play a skeletal funk vamp on his Rhodes in order to bring Douglas and Potter into the fore as Frisell paints the backdrop deep blue until it’s his turn to solo.

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