Dave Douglas Freak In (Bluebird/BMG) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
There's always been an element of fusion in trumpeter Dave Douglas's work, from his participation in John Zorn's future-klezmer Masada project to his own Balkan- and pop-inspired outings. Freak In moves that obsession with synthesis to the jazz-tronica world explored recently by Matt Shipp and Spring Heel Jack. Equal parts laptop glitches and Dark Magus-era Miles Davis, Freak In is an explosive, defiantly modern recording featuring Douglas's lyrical playing over the dense soundscapes of an 11-piece band. There's nothing clumsy about the trumpeter's electrified and electronic sound here. Like Davis, Douglas uses the past as a jumping-off point for the future, and aside from some clattering beats, the computer trickery is limited largely to an undercurrent of blips, stutters and other squishy sounds that only really reveal themselves on headphones.