Avant-Garde Jazz • United Kingdom
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The morphing of Canterbury jazz fusion into prog rock has been a slow but steady changing of the guard, headlined by the participants of the trio dubbed Doubt. Electric keyboardist Alex Maguire, electric guitarist Michel Delville, and drummer Tony Bianco are taking yet another step forward with this heady and potent brand of heavy music based in large beats and even bigger amplified sounds.

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DOUBT Never Pet a Burning dog album cover 3.35 | 5 ratings
Never Pet a Burning dog
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010
DOUBT Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love album cover 3.52 | 3 ratings
Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love
Avant-Garde Jazz 2012

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DOUBT Demonstrations album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Avant-Garde Jazz 2009

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DOUBT Reviews

DOUBT Never Pet a Burning dog

Album · 2010 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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DouBt is a different kind of band, a kind of Jazz Rock Jam band, Avant, Experimental, everything together or something like that. They don't have a bass player with exception of Richard Sinclair (Caravan) in a couple of tracks. The trio is compreseed of: Alex Maguire (keyboards), Tony Bianco (drums) e Michel Delville (guitars).

Being Experimental Jazz their 'essence' DouBt in Never Pet A Burning Dog (2010) is not really my cup of tea. They're free, no limits, almost Free Jazz. But I can say that the album is interesting.

'Laughter' , 'Passing Cloud' and 'Cosmic Surgery' (and its Gentle Giant ways) are the most interesting tracks on Never Pet A Burning Dog (2010), released by Moonjune Records.

The album was recorded in only 2 days in August 2009, which shows the intention of DouBt to have the most free sound possible. Lovers of Jazz would be in extase with Never Pet A Burning Dog (2010), but like I said, for me I prefer songs that were build and I also like vocals.

Interesting anyway!

DOUBT Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love

Album · 2012 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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kev rowland
This is the second album from the trio of Alex Maguire (keyboards), Michel Delville (guitar, Roland GR09, samples) and Tony Bianco (drums, sequencer) and was recorded live in the studio over two days (more than six months apart) in 2011. Although it is instrumental throughout, this is in fact a concept album deriving its inspiration as much from William Blake’s visionary aesthetics (the title is taken from the poet’s “Songs of Innocence and Experience” – and Blake is thanked in the credits along with Stravinsky and Sen. Bernie Saunders) as from a diversity of 20th-century musical icons. One of these icons is Hendrix, and I am sure that he would have enjoyed the raucous, loose yet tight interpretation of “Purple Haze” that appears here; while instantly recognizable, it has been ripped to pieces and then reconstructed with loads of fuzzed guitar and a chaotic approach that is just wonderful.

But, they can go from one extreme to another so from a blasting rock out we can go to something quite gentle and reflective with Alex controlling the proceedings with some finesse and beautifully dated keyboard sounds. This is an album that is completely timeless as although it brings in influences from modern acts such as Tortoise it goes back to the invention of the Sixties and combines it with some over the top 70’s histrionics. It is only the sound clarity that leads one to the conclusion that this is a work of today as opposed to something from 40 years ago. This does take some perseverance, just because the styles they are using are often very diverse but the listener is rewarded. Well worth investigation.

DOUBT Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love

Album · 2012 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Doubt’s first album found them mixing a refined approach to free jazz with progressive rock strains, an odd mix, but one that worked well for them. On their follow up album, “Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love”, Doubt changes things up a bit, turns up the volume, and becomes a hard edged modern jazz-rock trio with a penchant for free improvisation. Somewhere in between the good times far out jams of Hendrix, and the more explosive chaos of Sonny Sharrock, lies the new sound of Doubt, with some Vernon Reid, Terje Rypdal and Wayne Krantz thrown in as well. Keyboardist Alex Maguire adds to the intensity with acoustic piano solos that recall Herbie Hancock‘s more outside work, as well as distorted electronic keyboard rides that recall Mike Ratledge and Dave Stewart.

Not everything on here is free and aggressive, “The Invitation” is a nice laid back lounge number with a haunting noir melody that recalls Kenny Garret’s “Detroit” from earlier this year. Overall I think fans of modern jazz rock will like this, as well as fans of modern free jazz. In the 1980s, the NYC downtown/Knitting Factory scene took the freedom of 60s avant-garde jazz and mixed it with the no-nonsense ascetics of punk rock and the electric volume of 70s jazz-rock and the resultant fusion has become a lasting style for bands like Doubt and others around the world.

DOUBT Never Pet a Burning dog

Album · 2010 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Doubt is a real interesting band, basically a free jazz trio (keyboards, guitar, drums) that occaisonally likes to wander into progressive rock territory, the unlikely combination of those two styles makes for this unexpected yet successful CD, 'Never Pet a Burning Dog'. Free jazz can come across as an indulgent and boring 60s passe sort of thing, but Doubt modernizes things by playing light and tasteful sometimes, as opposed to constantly going full force as the 60s avant-garde jazz bands would do. Canterbury/prog rock legend Richard Sinclair is also on hand for a couple cuts to help out with the ‘proggier’ moments.

Album opener 'Carole De San Luca' features Sinclair’s voice against a stately jazz/Gregorian chord progression backed by understated restless free drumming. From here the bands hit’s a dissonant King Crimson styled chord sequence that evolves into Doubt’s trade mark free jazz improvisations. Keyboardist Alex Maguire’s harsh playing recalls Chick Corea’s distorted Fender Rhodes on 'Miles Live at the Fillmore'. The free jazz will continue with the calmer track four, 'Sea', making a sharp difference with it’s very quiet approach and guitarist Milchel Deville’s ghostly ambient background accompaniment.

Track five, 'Passing Cloud', brings Sinclair on for more vocals. The combination of his soft Canterbury jazz vocals, Bianco’s restless drums and Maguire’s shifting Mellotron background could pass as an out-take from Crimson’s jazzy 'Lizards' album. 'Cosmic Surgery' continues in the prog rock vein, heavy guitar riffs alternate with jazzy keyboard sequences and quiet classical/surf guitar melodies for a sound that is a cross between Focus, Sun City Girls and Quiet Sun. Eventually the free jazz takes over again which carries them up to album closer 'Beppe’s Shelter'. 'Beppe’s' is an odd one that opens with a furious guitar improv over a persistent rock beat followed by a jazzy space rock flight topped with a Mellotron flute solo, trippy.

Doubt is a great band, the musicians on here are all top notch. This is modern free jazz that breaks barriers and aspires to non-cliché progressive rock and beyond.

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