Even without his pointed liner notes dismissing the jazz world's obsession with the past, Dave Douglas's reputation as a relentless explorer would be assured. He's got more than 10 wildly different projects currently on the go, yet A Thousand Evenings sounds like nothing else in the Brooklyn trumpeter's arsenal.
Featuring his Charms Of The Night Sky ensemble of violinist Mark Feldman, accordionist Guy Klucevsek and bassist Greg Cohen, the disc's dozen chamber jazz pieces -- including a suite composed for last year's Ashkenaz festival -- defy obvious categorization. Douglas leads the quartet's delicate walk between free improvisation and rigid compositions, getting sounds out of his group that are equal parts jazz, orchestral, tango and dissonant soundscapes, and then suddenly gets them to play straight for a swing through Goldfinger. File under jazz, but only for convenience.