Dave Douglas sat down with Ashley Kahn / Jazz Times for a Q&A, and blindfold test. Read the full article at JazzTimes.
In the cool, blustery summer weather that is typical of Finland’s Satakunta province, Dave Douglas’ quintet—Douglas on trumpet, tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon, pianist Matt Mitchell, bassist Linda Oh and drummer Rudy Royston, with vocalist Heather Masse—played a well-received set at the 2013 Pori Jazz festival in July. The music alternated between a loose-limbed intensity and measured melancholy—the latter in particular on the church melodies taken from Douglas’ 2012 album Be Still (Greenleaf). One of those happy, unplanned musical connections took place when the group performed the title track, sparking a rousing response from the outdoor crowd.
“I got so many questions from people here in Finland about why I played it,” Douglas, 50, explained after the set. “When my mother was very ill she gave me a list of hymns that she wanted me to play at her memorial service, and one of them was ‘Be Still, My Soul.’ It was one of her favorites, played in Protestant churches with English lyrics and a melody composed by [Finnish composer] Jean Sibelius. I don’t think she knew the melody is also called ‘Finlandia,’ but we began to play it and I quickly learned that it’s the national anthem here, more or less. It was a real honor to play it in Finland.”
This Before & After took place in Pori’s Satakunnan Museo immediately after Douglas’ performance and was attended by a variety of local music fans.
Super proud of everybody on the Greenleaf team for the outcome of this new box set. It’s got Be Still, Time Travel and two unreleased items: Pathways, a new sextet recording with Uri Caine, Greg Tardy, Josh Roseman, Linda Oh, Clarence Penn, and special guest Aoife O’Donovan. And a DVD of session and art videos created by Christoph Green. There’s also a download card of additional out takes and unreleased tracks.
Not only is the box itself beautiful (thanks again, guys, OK yes, it’s my birthday, I get it), but they’ve also devised a system so that — if you already purchased Be Still and Time Travel — you don’t have to buy them again. You can simply “complete your box.” Nice right?
If you are curious, this is a cool moment to check out what’s going on at Greenleaf and get some great music. Thanks.
Hear “Handwritten Letter,” a previously unreleased track included in the box set “…a devastatingly catchy song, which has found itself stuck in my head since I received the box. It, moreover, serves as a firm reminder of how brilliant and infectious a melodist Douglas is” (Search & Restore)
Another bonus track, this one with video of the performance, premiered at Burning Ambulance on Monday.
Dave Douglas Quintet with Jon Irabagon, tenor saxophone; Luis Perdomo, piano; Linda Oh, bass; Rudy Royston, drums
‹‹‹ October 17th-18th | Hamburg DE ›››
DDQ @ Rolf-Liebermann-Studio-NDR
‹‹‹ October 19th | Gröningen NL ›››
DDQ @ De Oosterpoort-Kleine Zaal
‹‹‹ October 20th | Köln DE ›››
DDQ @ Stadtgarten
More dates at greenleafmusic.com/shows
Some thanks are in order. One of the most inspiring parts of the US tour has been meeting the people along the way. People who make musical events possible in their cities, towns, and regions are really crucial to the opening up of possibility around the country. We’ve been blessed to meet up with some fantastic supporters of the arts in our 50 state travels.
In Louisville, Kentucky, John Harris at the Clifton Center is presenting a diverse set of musical events and we were thrilled to be a part of it. Also, Mike Tracy at University of Louisville was instrumental in making the workshops and presentations happen.
In Knoxville, Tennessee we were hosted by my old friend Greg Tardy, saxophonist, who, along with Vance Thompson, Donald Brown and others is leading an outstanding program at UT. I had a blast playing with Greg again. At the same time we were hosted by Ashley Capps and the Square Room for our acoustic set in front of an electric audience.
The next day was a workshop in Asheville, North Carolina and a concert in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Thanks to Brian Felix and Bob Hinkle for making this happen. Also a big thank you to Greenleaf’s own Jim Tuerk (no, it is not pronounced ‘Twerk’, much as we would enjoy that) for driving us and bringing box sets and vinyl LPs to all our shows.
Britt Theurer has a great program at East Carolina and I was grateful for the invitation to speak to his brass students in Greenville, North Carolina.
Finally for this run, Matt White, trumpeter and producer at Coastal Carolina University near Myrtle Beach, brought us to South Carolina for an awesome show at Wheelwright Auditorium. Matt is making great things happen there and you can check out his new record at this link.
On the way home I stopped in Richmond, Virginia to reunite with trumpeters Rex Richardson and Taylor Barnett and play material for three trumpets and rhythm section. Thanks to Antonio Garcia for inviting me to his program at VCU and making this special concert possible. There was a post concert visit to McCormack’s Whiskey Grill along with Reggie Pace, Bryan Hooten and other members of NO BS! Brass, not soon to be forgotten!
And, yes, I am training for a marathon again and running in every city we visited so far. Loving that Rail Trails seem to be springing up all over the country. We’re back on the west coast now and the Pacific vistas are impeccable. Today in Oakland, California; tomorrow Portland, Oregon; Saturday, Seattle, Washington, and then we will be in Europe for a couple of weeks. Hope to see you out there. Dave
The Quintet graced stages in Louisville, Knoxville, Asheville, and Conway (right outside Myrtle Beach), and I was lucky enough to share the van with Dave Douglas & crew last week. Besides the incredible music this group makes — the band really is at the top of their game, as far as my ears hear it — it’s important to note how hilarious this band is when they’re all in the same room. Thanks to Jon, Linda, Matt, Rudy, and of course our fearless leader, Dave Douglas for making last week such a good time.
Below are a few shots from the tour, some by Michael Tracy in Louisville, and some from my iPhone. Be sure to follow our Instagram feed for more GLM photos.
More dates this coming week. Info and tickets at the /shows page.