Trumpeter Dave Douglas's feet have always been planted all over the map. A mere eight months separate the release of his Soul on Soul
and A Thousand Evenings
, each played by very different, long-standing Douglas bands. Douglas's Charms of the Night Sky quartet helms Evenings
and does a fine, dramatic job at creating drummerless drama extraordinaire. They weave together a convincingly broad spectrum of accordion (Guy Klucevsek
), violin (Mark Feldman
), bass (Greg Cohen
), and the leader's trumpet--invoking tangos, impressionism, a touch of avant jazz, and a host of other disparate musical strains into a lovely chamberesque set that sounds spirited rather than staid, colorfully middle-range, and burnished rather than monochromatic.
Douglas's horn is liquidly brilliant in an unhurried way, but it's still able to go frantic (as on the two-part "Branches"), as are Feldman's violin and Klucevsek's more artfully lumbering accordion. His nod to the late pianist Jaki Byard (the three-part "In So Many Worlds") likewise alternates between the lyrical and the urgently impassioned. As with Astor Piazzolla's bands and, later, the Tin Hat Trio, Douglas is looking to mine his drummerless band's multiple layers for a rhythmic push, and Evenings shows that the band is with the trumpeter all the way. --Andrew Bartlett