From Songs of Ascent: Book 1 - Degrees a superlative quintet statement from the US trumpeter and bandleader Dave Douglas again inspired in a liturgical frame of mind by the biblical psalms specifically the 15 psalms that fall under the umbrella of 'A Song of Ascents' - pilgrim songs for the ascent of hills in turn toward Zion.
Individually recorded in five different studios and later mixed together (you wouldn't know that at all in a blind listening given the quality of the audio engineering) 'Lift Up My Eyes' is very much a scalar piece and sounds as secular as it does infused with a religiosity so it has a wider appeal beyond the inspiration. Douglas' trumpet and Jon Irabagon's sax lines overlap tartly firmly underpinned by the very muscular three-piece rhythm section. Double bassist Linda May Han Oh eventually breaks free as the roiling swirl of Rudy Royston's drums keep the unity of collective direction knitting with the complex avant piano of Matt Mitchell's blocks of sound to add power. A formidable introduction to the October album release and new today in our 1 luv track-of-the-day spot. The track amounts to some of Douglas' most stimulating sounds to us since his 2014 classic with the Doxas brothers and Steve Swallow Riverside and his work with Joe Lovano on the 2015 live at Monterey album and bodes well for this autumn release.