The complete Spark Of Being trilogy from Dave Douglas & Keystone – music made in a partnership with experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison as a reinterpretation of the Frankenstein story – each CD excellent in its own right, and it's all even better as a whole! The first entry is titled Soundtrack – a really striking record that marks the project
as a compelling standout in Douglas's career! There's definitely a soundtrack approach to the music here – lots of rich textures and tones, shifting on a sonic landscape that's somewhat different than Douglas' more familiar jazz modes, yet which still has some of the spontaneously creative elements you'd expect! Dave plays laptop in addition to trumpet – and DJ Olive supplies some similar sonic elements too – in addition to other instrumentation from Marcus Strickland on tenor, Adam Benjamin on Fender Rhodes, Brad Jones on Ampeg baby bass, and Gene Lake on drums. Despite the acoustic elements, there's a strong resonance from the electric parts – which often have these deeply spooky tones – and titles include "Observer", "Spark Of Being", "Creature Three", "Chroma", "Is It You", "Three Ring Circus", and "Split Personality". The second part is titled Expand – this one billed as the "straight" performances of themes composed for the project
! Expand does work as a solid modern jazz album, with shifting tones, creative sparks and dexterous rhythmic interplay and sharp solos. The textural experimental touches assure that it's a artful step to the left, though, and it's great stuff anyway you want to look at it. Titles include "Spark Of Being", "Creature", "Tree Ring Circus", "Observer", "Chroma", "Travelogue" and "Prologue". The final part is Burst – featuring compositions from the sessions that do not appear in the film! It's wonderful stuff, intuitive, rhythmically exhilarating and sharply creative modern jazz with great solos, unpredictable tonal shifts and creative bits of sound that work very well thematically. Titles "Leaving London", "Creaturecode", "The Growing Tree", "Vitalism", "Creature Discomfort", "Travelogue Complete", "Split Personality Infinitive" and "Tree Ring Vamp".
(Includes original slipcase and book!)