The new album A Thousand Evenings culls the horn player's heady influences, from jazz to classical, klezmer to Spanish folk traditions. But Douglas' strength lies less in his fundamental knowledge of myriad musical forms than in his ability to hear melodic connections between the styles and shape seamless contours in his compositions. But like the greatest bandleaders, from Duke Ellington to Anthony Braxton, the richness of Douglas' chamber project stems from the smart contributions of his bandmates -- which the trumpeter readily attests, stating that his accordionist's "taste and restraint are in large part responsible for the tone of this band."
Five years ago, most adventurous jazz fans knew Douglas solely from his high-profile association with John Zorn's band Masada. Since then, Douglas has been recording and performing a number of works under his own leadership -- and the industry is taking notice: At this past year's Jazz Awards he won a pile of honors, including composer, album, trumpeter, and jazz artist of the year. Charms of the Night Sky is his band to see.