From AllAboutJazz-Italia (translated) by Paul Peviani — In many ways to Be Still is an unusual Dave Douglas album – if a “usual” one exists – given that it’s less about compositions and more about arrangements. Yet unmistakably, it is an album by the Dave Douglas to which we are accustomed. The musicians to do not miss a beat, regardless of the direction taken. The formidable arrangements show care in every little detail. The band is assembled from musicians whose playing is perfectly consistent with the music. And, of course, Douglas is a magnificent musician who brings out of his trumpet a thousand shades of timbre and expression.
In a book about Roger Federer, arguably the greatest tennis player of all time, David Foster Wallace writes about how the Swiss champion has flashes during his games that are beyond imagination, that are transcendent. Not surprisingly, the book is entitled “Roger Federer as Religious Experience.” Wallace defines these flashes as “Federer Moments”, and describes them by referring to mystery and metaphysics, that they are close to the truth. The more technical explanation, says Wallace, works better as journalism, as it can’t capture the true essence of the phenomenon.
To paraphrase David Foster Wallace, this trumpeter develops “Douglas Moments ” when on stage, in which music and sound create perfection, pure metaphysics. One could also delve into technical explanations of Rudy Royston’s fantastic poly-rhythms, Linda Oh’s musicality and bass accents, Walter Smith III’s fragmented lines, the juxtaposition of Matt Mitchell’s left hand chords and right hand figures, or Aoife O’Donovan’s velvet voice, but that would just be talk. During this Be Still in Milan, the “Douglas Moments” were numerous.