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Dave Douglas – Freak In

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89 days.

That’s how many I wasted. I coulda been listening to Dave Douglas’ Freak In.

But no…I had to put it off. The folks on the John Zorn mailing list were all over it. I ignored ’em. Maybe I was buried in snow back then (release date: Feb. 18). Maybe I was depressed and suffering from cabin fever (it was a long, long winter).

So this past saturday I happened apon a copy of Freak In over at Bull Moose Music in Portsmouth and I think “ok, those Zorn guys haven’t let me down yet…”.

Into the bag it goes (along with the vinyl find of the year so far: a pristine copy of the Talking Heads: The Name Of This Band Is The Talking Heads…why the hell hasn’t this made it to cd anyway?!!)

They were right. Freak In is like Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters and Sextant, Miles’ In A Silent Way and Live Evil…maybe with a little Medeski, Martin and Wood in there too. This isn’t being fair to Dave Douglas though ’cause Freak In makes its own statement with some pretty danged cool compositions layed out by some of my favorite players including skronk-meister Marc Ribot (guitar), Joey Baron (drums) and Chris Speed (sax)….oh ya, and Dave Douglas on trumpet. Add some tablas, a little drum & bass-style electronics and you’ve got a pretty interesting mix.

3 days down, 86 left to go.

(First posted on Mark Is Cranky)

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About Mark Saleski

  • I got Freak In the day it came out, and I’m still having a hard time making any sensible comments about it. I’ve been working on a review of it for weeks now, but it fails to really convey the album in anyway other than, similar to your comments, “if you like Miles’ 70s period, you’ll like this.” I can’t simplify it like that because this album is so much more than that.

    “November” is the heart of this album, I find. I frequently wind up with that melody repeating in my head. Gorgeous, amazing piece of work.

  • yep, i’ve got several things in my collection that go into the ‘tough to describe’ category….Henry Threadgill comes to mind.

  • I was a little skeptical when the CD first came out, but when I saw the septet live they blew my mind. I bought the CD after the show and have been getting more and more into it as the months pass.

    An extremely well done set.