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    Tuesday, January 18, 2005

    9. Dave Douglas: Strange Liberation

    Taking its title from a Martin Luther King statement about how the Vietnamese must have seen Americans as "strange liberators," Dave Douglas' 22nd LP is the most intoxicating jazz release I heard this year.

    He pulls his sextet together, including guitarist Bill Frisell, to achieve a richly detailed sound. Fragments of late-60s Miles can be heard here. For me, the pieces on this album seem to strike just the right balance between improvisation and composition.

    I tend to veer toward jazz releases from 40 years ago, so I'm not sure how this particular 2004 release stacks up against the rest of last year's bunch. But I will say I found Strange Liberation to be a very thoughtful listen. Buy It.

    Dave Douglas "The Jones"