Jazz has pretty much always been my favorite genre. But along the way, I’ve discovered that the biggest barrier of getting into newer stuff (for myself, personally) is a general lack of connection to any sort of jazz royalty. Fortunately, that’s not the case with Dezron Douglas.
Once apprentice to the late legend Jackie McLean, this Hartford-born educator-bandleader-bassist-producer-composer has also lent his talents to the likes of Ravi Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders, just to name a few. Even in America’s most-competitive jazz hubs, Dezron’s dexterity, discipline, and deep understanding of theory have propelled him towards the top. In the realm of studio releases, Dezron Douglas only rode the momentum of his 2020 Brandee Younger collab Force Majeure for just a bit before recruiting the dream quartet for his solo debut.
Entitled ATALAYA, this LP is a ten-track trek across all kinds of avant-garde jazz. Bop, free jazz, and even effects-drenched solo fusion (see the penultimate tune, “Octopus”) whisk together better than ever before. And if you’re after a multi-sensory listening experience, consider copping a bag of Douglas’ very own coffee blend! A piping hot cup curated by the aficionado himself, plus ATALAYA (and its eponymous album opener) on vinyl? Sounds like an all-around rich cross-cultural roast for the winter.