Sound Prints: Modern jazz quintet dedicates performance to legends

Trumpeter Dace Douglas

Photos courtesy of umass.edu and  joelovano.com

On September 25, the Dave Douglas and Joe Lovano Quintet: Sound Prints, performed at Lafayette College. The modern jazz ensemble featured Lawrence Fields on piano, Linda Oh on bass, and Joey Baron on drums.

The group’s name, “Sound Prints,” is also the title of the first song played that night – a piece reminiscent of the revolutionary saxophonist, Wayne Shorter, and his composition “Footprints.”

Wayne Shorter was a jazz pioneer in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, known for his work as a solo artist with Speak No Evil, as well as one of the founding members of the jazz fusion group, Weather Report. Recently, he wrote two compositions for Sound Prints entitled “Destination Unknown” and “To Sail Beyond the Sun.” The audience in the Lafayette College Williams Center was only the third audience to hear these compositions performed by the quintet.

“Sound Prints” began with the dissonant sounds of the dueling trumpet and saxophone. Suddenly, the band joined in, unifying the group with a walking bass line and a swinging rhythm on the drums.

The quintet also played the tune “Weather Man,” another tribute to the living legend, Shorter, reminding the listener of his days as the saxophonist for Weather Report.

Both musicians had incredible musical chemistry on stage, their instruments and melodies blending together during both the Shorter compositions, as well as many tunes written by Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas themselves, founders of the quintet.

Joe Lovano is a Grammy award-winning saxophone player, who was featured on the cover of Downbeat magazine as one of the greatest contemporary jazz saxophone players. The co-leader of the group, Dave Douglas, was a Grammy nominee and is also an incredibly respect musician in the jazz community.

All the compositions reflected the spirit of jazz music; always progressing and exploring new harmonic and melodic boundaries. The night pursued this theme with a mixture of chaotic sounds and tight grooves, demonstrating the versatility and erudition of the musicians in the group.

The band ended with a Dave Douglas composition, humorously titled “Power Ranger,” which was followed by wild applause. The audience was clearly impressed by the skill of the musicians and touched by the tribute to Wayne Shorter, as well as the jazz piano player Mulgrew Miller who lived in Easton, Pa before he passed away. The concert in its entirety was dedicated to him.

About William Gordon

William Gordon '17 is the editor-in-chief of The Lafayette. He writes about student government, law, financial aid and music. He's studying English and government & law with a minor in economics.

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