2013 marks the 50th birthday year for Dave Douglas, “the unassuming king of independent jazz” (DownBeat), and on that note, Douglas is setting his sights on reaching all 50 U.S. states in person, with his horn. His 50 States project, or DD50, was born from a want to perform in unlikely and outdoors locations for people who might not otherwise have the same kind of access to live, improvised music as those in larger cities.
Got a chance to chat with one of my longest term supporters and biggest champions of jazz in the UK, Tony Dudley-Evans. We spoke about this weekend’s Cheltenham Festival in the lounge of the Royal Academy.
I had a blast talking with Brandon Peckman at WNYU today. Stream our conversation by clicking the image above. Lots of music from different albums and periods of my work. Enjoy!
“Witness” GPS, Vol. 3: Bad Mango (Greenleaf Music) MP3 2011
“A SIngle Sky” A Single Sky (Greenleaf Music) MP3 2009
“Beware of Doug” Time Travel (Greenleaf Music) MP3 2013
“Red Emma” The Tiny Bell Trio (Songlines Recordings) MP3 1994
“Forward Flight” In Our Lifetime (New World) MP3 1995
“Millennium Bug” Magic Triangle / Leap of Faith (Greenleaf Music) MP3 2012
“Meaning and Mystery” Live at the Jazz Standard (Greenleaf Music) MP3 2007
“Flood Plain” Moonshine (Greenleaf Music) MP3 2007
“A Thousand Evenings” A Thousand Evenings (RCA) MP3 2000
“Be Still My Soul” Be Still (Greenleaf Music) MP3 2012
“Garden State” Time Travel (Greenleaf Music) CD 2013
This Sunday, April 21, from 3pm to 6pm we will gather again at Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn. The main focus of this workshop will be reading the music from my sextet album Soul On Soul, dedicated to Mary Lou Williams. The Workshop will also consider elements of composition and performance, with plenty of time for questions and discussion. Come join us, you can play or just listen. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We will also be looking to preparations for the final concert on May 30 in the same space.
When we started working on the plan for the new album Time Travel, Dave and I were talking about David Toomey’s book “The New Time Travelers”—which was the impetus for the title. Specifically how the concept of time travel had been around a long time, how it’s evident in the way we think and the way we create, and ultimately rearranges our understanding of cause and effect.
One of my favorite things about music is how vividly it allows us to remember a moment in time that might have otherwise been forgotten. As with other senses, your thoughts can fly backwards to the slightest of details all from hearing a note or a voice or just a sound; or maybe you see your future self in the shape of things to come. In this way, Time Travel is a reality among all of us who have our ears open.
A ticket for your thoughts.
We’d like to hear about your first or most powerful musical memory. Maybe it was a eureka moment, or the song you first fell in love with. Maybe it was a moment when you realized how important music was for you. Whatever it might be, take us back in time, or tell us how you beamed yourself to the future.
In exchange, we’ll put your name in to win a free pair of tickets to the Jazz Standard where Dave and his Quintet celebrate the release of Time Travel, as well as Dave’s 50th birthday. We’ll also pick a second person to receive a free download of the new album—for those of you not in the East Coast area.
Enter to win tickets by posting your musical memory in one of these spots:
+ Comment on this blog post
+ Comment on the Facebook post at facebook.com/greenleafmusic
+ Use hashtag #ddtimetravel on Twitter
+ Use hashtag #ddtimetravel with a picture on Instagram
The winner will be selected at random on Friday at 5 PM and their name will be on the guest list +1 for a set on Saturday or Sunday (tickets only; food and beverage are not included).
From AllAboutJazz-Italia (translated) by Paul Peviani — In many ways to Be Still is an unusual Dave Douglas album – if a “usual” one exists – given that it’s less about compositions and more about arrangements. Yet unmistakably, it is an album by the Dave Douglas to which we are accustomed. The musicians to do not miss a beat, regardless of the direction taken. The formidable arrangements show care in every little detail. The band is assembled from musicians whose playing is perfectly consistent with the music. And, of course, Douglas is a magnificent musician who brings out of his trumpet a thousand shades of timbre and expression.
In a book about Roger Federer, arguably the greatest tennis player of all time, David Foster Wallace writes about how the Swiss champion has flashes during his games that are beyond imagination, that are transcendent. Not surprisingly, the book is entitled “Roger Federer as Religious Experience.” Wallace defines these flashes as “Federer Moments”, and describes them by referring to mystery and metaphysics, that they are close to the truth. The more technical explanation, says Wallace, works better as journalism, as it can’t capture the true essence of the phenomenon.
To paraphrase David Foster Wallace, this trumpeter develops “Douglas Moments ” when on stage, in which music and sound create perfection, pure metaphysics. One could also delve into technical explanations of Rudy Royston’s fantastic poly-rhythms, Linda Oh’s musicality and bass accents, Walter Smith III’s fragmented lines, the juxtaposition of Matt Mitchell’s left hand chords and right hand figures, or Aoife O’Donovan’s velvet voice, but that would just be talk. During this Be Still in Milan, the “Douglas Moments” were numerous.
Recorded & mixed by Joe Ferla at Avatar Studios, April 2012 at the same sessions that yielded the album Be Still  which Stereophile called “one of the best sounding records we’ve heard by any one in quite awhile.” This all-instrumental album features Dave’s new Quintet with Jon Irabagon on tenor saxophone, Matt Mitchell on piano, Linda Oh on bass, and Rudy Royston on drums.
Thanks to the great crew that came out on February 24 for the first in this series of workshops. I’m looking forward to working with all of you again on March 17.
We spent most of the session playing through the music from my 1994 album In Our Lifetime, dedicated to Booker Little. Also had a chance for some nice discussion about composition, playing, and Booker Little’s music and impact.
On March 17 the workshop series will continue with a session playing music from the record Stargazer, dedicated to Wayne Shorter. And on April 21 we will continue with Soul on Soul, dedicated to Mary Lou Williams. On May 30 there will be a performance of some of this music. All of this is happening at ShapeShifter Lab in Brooklyn.
Drop us a line if you are interested in attending. Look forward to hearing from you.