I'm not all that familiar with Dave Douglas's enormous body of work. I've enjoyed the handful of his records I've checked out during the past few years, and there are a few back-catalog titles I remember digging many years back (including the Booker Little tribute In Our Lifetime and the Tiny Bell Trio's Songs for Wandering Souls), but I'm no expert. That's even more true re: my knowledge of Uri Caine. But Present Joys immediately felt familiar and inviting to me, and it's stuck with me since its release over the summer. I think this is because it falls into a certain category of record that I have an affinity for—not just a horn/piano duo album, but one with a powerful unifying mood, a reason for existing.
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