By Nate Chinen
Dave Douglas dealt sparingly with the emotional back story at 92YTriBeCa on Wednesday night, in the auspicious first outing by his new quintet. During a concert built around the Protestant hymns on his gorgeous and contemplative new album, “Be Still” — due out on Tuesday on Greenleaf, his independent label — Mr. Douglas spoke of his motivation only in passing. The album, he said simply, “came about because all these hymns and songs were songs that my mother recommended that I play.”
His mother, Emily Douglas, died in August 2011 after a three-year struggle with ovarian cancer. During her final months, as talk turned to her memorial service, she handed him a list of eight traditional hymns — a poignant commission and in some ways a spiritual bequest.
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