Like the water gently, softly and simply rippling in rock pools and the sun that catches the movement – so it is with these solo electric guitar pieces. Your mind cuts its own nature documentary to frame up alongside this soundtrack that’s already been created.
Scott DuBois is an American guitarist and composer with two decades of recording and touring experience across several different small combos, including working with the legendary saxophonist and former Miles Davis alumni Dave Liebman. He plays in a quartet with bassist Thomas Morgan – who in recent years has made a handful of quietly dazzling duo albums with the great Bill Frisell.
There is something of Frisell’s quiet wonder in hearing DuBois as solo artist – though his tone and touch is entirely different. The warm water evocation of the title here is a good thing to always keep in mind when listening to this though, and hard in fact to lose it or separate it – there are pieces where the guitar is more percussive (River Driftwood) and moments where jazz’s fluidity rushes to meet the sonic exploration of a freed up composer and player (Summer Light On Rushing River). There is a slow build from the low-key opening (Into River Fog) through darker textures (River Before The Storm) to arrive at the tempest (Storm Where The River Meets The Sea) and then move through it (Sea Before The Storm) to occasionally get caught in it (Summer Light on Billowing Sea) and then return to serenity (Sea Otters). Resting finally in deep contemplation (Into Sea Fog).
This is a deep, tranquil, meditative album – there are some sharp turns – but as a right place/right time album I find this utterly transporting and with beautiful hues – ultimately it’s calming and restorative. And the playing is egoless and yet/therefore masterful.