Warm Wishes for the last of ’09 and Happiest of ’10.

Posted by: admin on December 31, 2009 @ 2:54 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (Artist Thoughts)

I’m not much on top ten lists. It was a great year for music. It was a great decade for music. All signs point to the ‘teens being an even more rich, vibrant and prolific decade. I was just paging through the new All About Jazz (NY print edition) and the number of names and styles and labels is simply astounding. Nobody is going to like all of it, some will question whether much of it even belongs there. But I think this freedom of expression and the resulting proliferation of music is cause for real celebration. It seems to get wilder every year. And I think the next decade is going to amaze us all. May you live in interesting times.

Ethan Iverson relates some great metronome stories over at DO THE MATH, and the conversation continues below in comments.

Keystone returns in 2010 with a new score for Spark of Being, an image-driven film by Bill Morrison, created in our collaboration at Stanford University. We’ll be running a trailer here in mid-January.

Festival of New Trumpet Music starts the year quickly with Forward Flight: a gathering of new brass music, January 13 – 16 at Abrons Art Center at Henry Street Settlement. Chamber music by Ornette Coleman for trumpet, string quartet and percussion; Brass Music of Charles Wuorinen, including NY Premiere of Brass Quintet played by Urban Brass; The Low Anthem; Rob Mazurek; Opsvik & Jennings; Anti-Social Music plays all-premieres; Meridian Arts plays David Sanford; Open Circuit with Taylor Ho Bynum, Itaru Oki, Herb Robertson, Franz Hautzinger, Jean Luc Capozzo. More info to follow soon.

Weill Music Institute Young Artist Concert at Zankel Hall on February 12: eleven musicians from around the world come together to create a new repertoire. I will write a piece for them as well, and workshop with them along with Uri Caine and Clarence Penn.

Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music runs from May 17 to June 5, 2010. This will be my eighth year directing this very special ‘music retreat.’ Music 24/7. This year’s faculty will include Ravi Coltrane Quartet, Jeff Parker, Donny McCaslin, Myra Melford, Matana Roberts, Ben Monder, Mary Halvorson, Giorgio Magnenensi, Matt Brewer, Michael Bates, Roberto Rodriguez, Clarence Penn, Darcy James Argue, Gerald Cleaver, and others. Application deadline is January 15, visit the site for more details.

Making summer plans? I have been invited again to the festival in Trentino, Italy called I Suoni delle Dolomiti. July 10, 2010 I will be playing atop Monte Bondone. The concert is free. But you have to make the hike to be there. This concert will not likely be streamed world-wide in real time… Be there! It’s fun.

Happiest tidings for the year end, and hope to see you all out there some time in the coming year.


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Warm Wishes for the last of '09 and Happiest of '10.

Posted by: Dave Douglas on @ 2:54 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (Artist Thoughts)

I’m not much on top ten lists. It was a great year for music. It was a great decade for music. All signs point to the ‘teens being an even more rich, vibrant and prolific decade. I was just paging through the new All About Jazz (NY print edition) and the number of names and styles and labels is simply astounding. Nobody is going to like all of it, some will question whether much of it even belongs there. But I think this freedom of expression and the resulting proliferation of music is cause for real celebration. It seems to get wilder every year. And I think the next decade is going to amaze us all. May you live in interesting times.

Ethan Iverson relates some great metronome stories over at DO THE MATH, and the conversation continues below in comments.

Keystone returns in 2010 with a new score for Spark of Being, an image-driven film by Bill Morrison, created in our collaboration at Stanford University. We’ll be running a trailer here in mid-January.

Festival of New Trumpet Music starts the year quickly with Forward Flight: a gathering of new brass music, January 13 – 16 at Abrons Art Center at Henry Street Settlement. Chamber music by Ornette Coleman for trumpet, string quartet and percussion; Brass Music of Charles Wuorinen, including NY Premiere of Brass Quintet played by Urban Brass; The Low Anthem; Rob Mazurek; Opsvik & Jennings; Anti-Social Music plays all-premieres; Meridian Arts plays David Sanford; Open Circuit with Taylor Ho Bynum, Itaru Oki, Herb Robertson, Franz Hautzinger, Jean Luc Capozzo. More info to follow soon.

Weill Music Institute Young Artist Concert at Zankel Hall on February 12: eleven musicians from around the world come together to create a new repertoire. I will write a piece for them as well, and workshop with them along with Uri Caine and Clarence Penn.

Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music runs from May 17 to June 5, 2010. This will be my eighth year directing this very special ‘music retreat.’ Music 24/7. This year’s faculty will include Ravi Coltrane Quartet, Jeff Parker, Donny McCaslin, Myra Melford, Matana Roberts, Ben Monder, Mary Halvorson, Giorgio Magnenensi, Matt Brewer, Michael Bates, Roberto Rodriguez, Clarence Penn, Darcy James Argue, Gerald Cleaver, and others. Application deadline is January 15, visit the site for more details.

Making summer plans? I have been invited again to the festival in Trentino, Italy called I Suoni delle Dolomiti. July 10, 2010 I will be playing atop Monte Bondone. The concert is free. But you have to make the hike to be there. This concert will not likely be streamed world-wide in real time… Be there! It’s fun.

Happiest tidings for the year end, and hope to see you all out there some time in the coming year.


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Stream: FONT celebrates Woody Shaw

Posted by: jim on December 22, 2009 @ 11:26 am
Filed under: Events, Listening

This just in…

Woody

 

Festival of New Trumpet Music
Celebrates Woody Shaw (1944-1989)

 
The Woody Shaw Legacy Ensemble: Brass Knights
At the Jazz Standard, New York
 
Sean Jones with Ezana Edwards, Nick Roseboro, trumpets; Mulgrew Miller, piano; Dwayne Burno, bass; musical director Victor Lewis, drums; Woody Louis Armstrong Shaw III, Producer
 
MUSIC (all by Shaw)
Joshua C
The Moontrane
Katrina Ballerina
Sweet Love of Mine (Woody Shaw III on drums)
Stepping Stone
 
Stream it on demand at jazzset.npr.org after December 24, the 65th anniversary of Woody Shaw’s birth.


2 Comments

Ochs Detractor Remains Anonymous

Posted by: Dave Douglas on December 21, 2009 @ 7:54 am
Filed under: Culture, Music

Anyone following this story about the anonymous Siguenza Festival attendee who complained because Larry Ochs’ music wasn’t jazzy enough will be interested to hear that the plot thickens. The Guardian’s Giles Tremlett has taken on the mission of finding the complainer, whose noise has ignited voices from all corners. This guy may just become jazz’s Joe the Purist. Amazing.

Update: The guy has been found. Now what? Read in the comments for news and links. Very strange story.


17 Comments

From the Mail Bin: Jeff Berlin and the Metronome

Posted by: Dave Douglas on December 20, 2009 @ 10:38 am
Filed under: Dave Douglas (Artist Thoughts), Music

Recently received this curious email out of the blue:

Hello. This is Jeff Berlin, the bass player. I am in the midst of a discussion about metronomes on Talkbass.com. I never felt that good time comes from practicing with one, and some disagree. One fellow mentioned Dave Douglas as someone who they feel acquired his sense of time from practicing with a metronome.

Could somebody please ask Mr. Douglas if this is true? It would mean a lot in this discussion to know the truth about this. Many thanks.

Jeff Berlin

P.S. If you don’t know me, please look me up on the Internet. Thanks.

Yeah, if you don’t know who Jeff Berlin is, look him up on the internet. Fantastic musician. And yes, TalkBass has plenty of forum threads like: “Show off your combos!” and “2009: A Year for Gear.” But also an incredible amount of interchange of great information on all sorts of musical topics.

Jeff’s question drove me back to something I wrote a while ago, The Practice of Ear Training. And I do talk about using a metronome to develop time playing. In the Banff thread last summer there’s also a report on Matt Penman’s rhythm classes on metronome ideas. I sent some thoughts over to Jeff and this is what he wrote back:

Hi Dave. Great stuff you’ve put down here. My take on all of it is that you regard a metronome as a tool for sub divisional ear training, not for developing a good time sense as so many young bass players seem to believe that you can get by practicing with it. I simply cannot think of a single name in all of jazz where a metronome played any part in the developed sense of time that these players exhibited throughout their careers.

There are some who regard this device as a source of good time and I reject this. But, I see that you embrace it as a great ear training device which makes sense to me. Am I correct in this assumption? To me, good time comes from experience on one’s instrument and knowledge of music which give reason to play in time. It is a result that happens later rather than earlier and supports my thinking that practicing is best done out of time, to regard and learn new information. Only then does one know what to play in a proper time feel.

I regard that everybody on every instrument acquired good time but never by using a steady click, since good time is not a metronomic reality. There are a lot of musicians in, say, Latin America who have great time and acquired it through playing and practice.

Would you agree with this? Thanks for responding because your opinion counts with me.

Take care Dave.

Jeff

For Jeff there’s a difference between having good time and having a good feel or time sense. And I definitely agree with that. But Jeff is pretty adamant about not working with a metronome — he says that in fact no great player developed their music by working with a metronome.

It’s a good question for the musos out there. Does a good time feel have anything to do with metronomic reality? I’ve laid my cards on the table on this topic. But how does practicing with a metronome or click help or harm in making music? Groove happens in collaboration with other musicians — does metronome practice have anything to inform that kind of playing? The use of time in classical playing, for example a string quartet, is very different to that of jazz, pop, or Latin music. Is a metronome a more or less useful device for practicing that kind of playing?

More basically, do you agree that having steady time is different from having good time?

Meanwhile, I hope you are all having a good time.


26 Comments

2009 Tops List

Posted by: jim on December 17, 2009 @ 9:54 am
Filed under: Listening, Music

First, there are so many albums that I left off of these lists. I put a few honorable mentions at the end, but there are still so many great albums I’m leaving off. 2009 was a great year for music. I used play counts as one of the measurements of “Best” which really just means “Favorite” to me. Feel free to disagree or pass your list on in the comments section.

JAZZ
Parken
Han Bennink Trio

[Amazon]
Bennink with Joachim Badenhorst, bassclarinet/clarinet, and Simon Toldam, piano. Covering one of my favorite tunes, Fleurette Africaine from Money Jungle, was a good start. But really, there isn’t a bum note on this whole album. And the last track with vocalist is haunting and may be my favorite track. If you didn’t pick this one up, you most definitely should.
Rock

(more…)


3 Comments

Live at the Bimhuis – OOP

Posted by: jim on December 16, 2009 @ 10:52 am
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Greenleaf Music News

Dave Douglas - Bimhuis Cover

 

Live at the Bimhuis was one of the very first releases on Greenleaf Music, and the first in Dave’s Paperback Series. It predates my time here, actually, but not by much.

An order came in this morning for the final physical copy on hand. So, as of today, the CD format for this title is Out-Of-Print. Digital formats are of course still available here.

Thanks to all who have ordered it in the past and for making it one of the most successful releases in our catalog.


1 Comment

John Zorn 2010 Announcement

Posted by: Dave Douglas on @ 8:03 am
Filed under: Music

When people ask me why I do so many projects and am so “prolific,” I should just point them to Tzadik, Zorn’s record label, which made this amazing announcement last week:

2010 – GREAT NEWS FOR ZORN FANS!

2010 will be a landmark year for John Zorn who promises 12 new CD releases-one every month! Included will be new music from The Dreamers, Moonchild and Alhambra, 3 new releases in The Book of Angels series, a major new studio composition dedicated to the Korean-American writer Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, a classical release featuring his acclaimed violin concerto Contes des Fées, the DVD release of his opera with Richard Foreman ASTRONOME, a ripping improvised duo recording with Fred Frith and undoubtedly several surprises. Most of the recordings are already completed and the release schedule set, so keep your eyes and ears open and expect a new Zorn release every 4th Tuesday of the month in 2010!

Now THAT’S prolific. True, we have some gems in the fridge for next year at Greenleaf as well. John’s an inspiration.


2 Comments

Constellations (2009 Reissue)

Posted by: jim on December 15, 2009 @ 1:28 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Listening, Music
Photobucket
“Constellations is a new set of songs written and arranged for the trio. It was recorded in mid tour, and so has a different, perhaps more live, character … Many thanks go to Brad and Jim for their dedications and commitment to the music. They are two of the finest listeners around, and in our three years as atrio, we’ve developed split-second reaction times and true fluidity between roles of soloist and accompanist.” – Dave Douglas, 1995

The HatHut reissue of Constellations is now available at our store with full track samples for your listening pleasure. Click the newly-designed album art above to reach the album page. This disc is also available in the Trio Bundle with Donny McCaslin’s Recommended Tools, Nicole Mitchell’s Indigo Trio, Live in Montreal, and a bonus MP3 download of Tiny Bell Trio Live in Europe.

It had been awhile since I listened to these tracks. Man, what a killer album!

Click here to read the AllAboutJazz review of this reissue.

Douglas’ trumpet, visceral and vocalized, steers most of the tracks, counterpointed by Shepik’s emphatic, rock-tinged guitar and Black’s leathery syncopations. As Douglas observes in his (brief) liner notes, three years down the line Tiny Bell had achieved split-second reaction times and extraordinary fluidity between the roles of soloist and accompanist. Douglas is undoubtedly the leader here but the music is a true collective endeavor. Three exploding stars, a shared focus, and one enduring masterpiece. -Chris May, AAJ

Thanks to Werner Uehlinger at HatHut Records for putting this music out there.


2 Comments

Talk About The Jazz Police…

Posted by: Dave Douglas on December 11, 2009 @ 10:21 am
Filed under: Culture, Music

From The Guardian UK:

Spanish fan calls police over saxophone band who were just not jazzy enough

Jazzman Larry Ochs has seen many things during 40 years playing his saxophone around the world but, until this week, nobody had ever called the police on him.

That changed on Monday night however, when’s Spain’s pistol-carrying Civil Guard police force descended on the Sigüenza Jazz festival to investigate allegations that Ochs’s music was not, well, jazz.

Police decided to investigate after an angry jazz buff complained that the Larry Ochs Sax and Drumming Core group was on the wrong side of a line dividing jazz from contemporary music.

The jazz purist claimed his doctor had warned it was “psychologically inadvisable” for him to listen to anything that could be mistaken for mere contemporary music.

According to a report in El País newspaper yesterday, the khaki-clad police officers listened to the saxophone-playing and drumming coming from the festival stage before agreeing that the purist might, indeed, have a case.

His complaint against the organisers, who refused to return his money, was duly registered and will be passed on to a judge.

“The gentleman said this was not jazz and that he wanted his money back,” said the festival director, Ricardo Checa.

“He didn’t get his money. After all, he knew exactly what group he was going to see, as their names were on the festival programme.

He added: “The question of what constitutes jazz and what does not is obviously a subjective one, but not everything is New Orleans funeral music.

“Larry Ochs plays contemporary, creative jazz. He is a fine musician and very well-renowned.”

“I thought I had seen it all,” Ochs, who reportedly suffered a momentary identity crisis, told El País. “I was obviously mistaken.”

“After this I will at least have a story to tell my grandchildren,” the California-based saxophonist added.

Best wishes, Larry! And let it not be said that you can’t get arrested playing this music.


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