Doug MacDonald Quartet – “Organisms” CD Release Party
The inventive straight ahead jazz set, which is comprised of standards and three MacDonald originals, has spirited ensembles and tasteful solos from the guitarist, organist Carey Frank and tenor-saxophonist Bob Sheppard with stimulating support from drummer Ben Scholz.
Monday, February 4th 7:30P
4349 TUJUNGA AVE.
STUDIO CITY, CA 91604
T . 818 769 0905
A consistently swinging and inspired guitarist, Doug MacDonald can always be relied upon to contribute exciting solos that display his own voice within the jazz tradition.
For his 14th album as a leader, he is joined by three rather impressive musicians. Organist Carey Frank has performed regularly with the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Eric Marienthal, Jane Monheit, Bob Mintzer, the Phat Cat Swingers and several groups of his own. Drummer Ben Scholz has been in groups with such notables as the late Roy Hargrove, Esperanza Spalding, Buddy Guy, Bill Watrous and Aaron Neville. And Bob Sheppard, a wizard on virtually every reed instrument (he plays tenor exclusively on this project), has uplifted the music of Chick Corea, Freddie Hubbard, Mike Stern, Michael and Randy Brecker, Peter Erskine, Billy Childs, Steely Dan and Joni Mitchell among many others,
Organisms opens with a medium-tempo version of “It’s You Or No One” which serves as a perfect introduction to the all-star group. The full unit is also in top form on the catchy “Jazz For All Occasions” (one of three MacDonaldoriginals on the set), “L&T” (which begins with a mysterious theme before becoming a cooker), the Harry “Sweets” Edison blues “Centerpiece,” “Too Late Now” (a warm ballad that features some beautiful tenor playing), and “On The Alamo.” Sheppard sits out during a trio romp through “Sometime Ago.”
MacDonald is in the spotlight on the other selections (“Poor Butterfly,” “Hortense” and a concise medley of “Nina Never Knew” and “Indian Summer”) which feature him as an unaccompanied soloist who moves gracefully between single-note lines and sophisticated chords. He brings out the beauty of each melody while giving them his own special brand of swing.
Originally from Philadelphia, Doug MacDonald started out as a jazz guitarist in Hawaii, working with trombonist Trummy Young, altoist Gabe Balthazar, and Del Courtney at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.
During a period in Las Vegas, he performed in lounges and showrooms with such greats as Joe Williams, trombonist Carl Fontana, and tenor-saxophonist Jack Montrose. He has been a fixture in Los Angeles for many years, playing with the big bands of Bill Holman, Ray Anthony, and John Clayton and with such classic performers as Ray Charles, Rosemary Clooney, Buddy Rich, Sarah Vaughan, Stan Getz, trumpeter Jack Sheldon, pianist Hank Jones and bassist Ray Brown.
Doug MacDonald has also frequently been heard as a leader with his own combos and his 13-piece ensemble The Jazz Coalition for whom he provides the arrangements. His many recordings range from big bands and the orchestral project Fourth Stream to his unaccompanied Solo Plus.
Inspired by such guitarists as Joe Pass, Johnny Smith, Howard Roberts, and Wes Montgomery, Doug MacDonald has carved out his own warm place in jazz’s modern mainstream, creating music that is swinging, lively and fun.