Until now, the sight of Monet’s painted haystacks had one musical connection in my mind: Debussy. A certain CD from my local library helped me understand what the similarities were between impressionistic painting and impressionistic music; solid outlines were boring and a hint of something’s existence was far more fresh and interesting. So even if the use of Monet’s iconic images on the cover of Landscape Scripture were motivated by other means, and I very much doubt they were, I’d say that Scott DuBois approaches the jazz guitar very much in a Debussy fashion.
The fuzzy harmonic focal points and DuBois’ Frisellian, pastoral guitar strokes help make this album far less jazzy than most Sunnyside releases. Go-to reed artist Gebhard Ullman occasionally keeps things anchored in hard bop, like on the 13-minute “Lake Shore Suite”. But Landscape Scripture is a for-all-seasons diamond that dazzles in how it takes a dated form of Romanticism, applies it to a battle-weary genre like jazz, and creates something reassuringly new.
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