The Many Voices…

Posted by: jim on November 20, 2012 @ 4:07 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Donny McCaslin (News), Greenleaf (News), Greenleaf Portable Series (GPS), Press

Will Layman has written a fantastic article called The Many Voices of Trumpeter and Composer Dave Douglas at PopMatters. Dave’s latest album Be Still is represented, but also some kind words about other label releases from Donny McCaslin and Linda Oh and how they fit into the “big tent” that is the musical world of DD.

The Many Voices of Trumpeter and Composer Dave Douglas

By Will Layman

The most moving music of 2012 for me has surely been the collection Be Still, by trumpeter Dave Douglas. A serene and shimmering marriage between jazz and devotional hymns, Be Still was inspired by the death of Douglas’s mother—and it extinguished any notion that jazz is all cerebellum and no heart.

That this great work should come from Douglas in 2012 is hardly a surprise. Douglas has been a critical voice—and recently a critical mentor to younger players—in jazz for 20 years. And that it should mean that much to me is also not surprise. Douglas and I grew up in the place and time as I did, and—as he reflects the loss of his parents in his music—has many of my own concerns in his heart.

His music is personal. Putting aside Be Still, that may seem odd, as he is mainly a voice in today’s post-modern jazz, a realm of much abstraction not usually given to autobiography or confession. But Douglas’s work is personal because its incredible range and diversity, taken as a whole, is a portrait of a brilliant and complete man.

The last year shows this with perfect clarity. You can forget the broad swath of his work from previous years: his music for silent movie soundtracks, his use of turntables and electronics, his immersion in Balkan music and his album of Joni Mitchell covers. Douglas’s released music in the last 12 months is enough to suggest that he is the most interesting and heartfelt jazz musician in recent times.

(more…)


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Three Views back in stock.

Posted by: jim on October 4, 2012 @ 9:25 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Greenleaf Portable Series (GPS)


We sold the last copy of this box set almost a year ago. But as luck would have it, a limited quantity was recently unearthed. As this title is out of print and unavailable anywhere else, these will go quickly. Click to the store to purchase.

The Three Views [3CD] box set assembles three recordings by Dave Douglas working with three different groups: Brass Ecstasy, Orange Afternoons Quintet (Ravi Coltrane, Vijay Iyer, Linda Oh, and Rudy Royston), and So Percussion. Each CD is individually packaged with three sets of polaroid-esque prints from the sessions.


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Dave Douglas & Greenleaf in 2011

As we sift through our epically full inboxes and move further and further away from vacation daze, we can’t help but get a little nostalgic for 2011—even as it’s just passed. There was a new website, a new music series, new artists, new albums… it seems everything was NEW last year. So before we can move on to all the goings-on we have scheduled this calendar year, a quick recap of some of the music we released in 2011 is necessary for us in this crazy hit-it-and-forget-it internet world we’ve all grown accustomed to.

Donny McCaslin’s Perpetual Motion

Donny went from a sparse but blazing tenor trio album Recommended Tools [2008] to the large ensemble Declaration album [released on Sunnyside, 2010] all the way to this electric album filled with angular post-bop, blistering polyphonic funk, backbeat-driven R&B, and delicate, ethereal balladry. And we thank him for it. It’s partly due to this music that the Key Motion Quintet came to be—but we’ll get to that.

Curtis Macdonald’s Community Immunity

Curtis’ debut album sounds more like his fourth or fifth. The depth of the compositions and the blowing from everyone on board sold us the second we heard it. As Dave put it early on: “The pieces on this recording are like little puzzles with moving parts that fit together in the strangest ways.” If you didn’t pick this album up, you should, because it burns from start to finish.

Greenleaf Portable Series, Cloud Player

As everyone knows, we like to take on at least one bigger project every year, and this was our 2011. And really, what better way to allow Dave to be his compositore prolificano than to record three disparate groups providing the vehicle for his new music. We’re glad that you agreed and supported the series, both as the digital albums, and in the Three Views box set. We hope to do another batch of GPS’s this year, so stay tuned.

All of that music, and all our music from the past 7 years of operation are housed at our new Cloud Player. Subscribers can access it all for a nominal annual fee. It’s our way of saying that catalog isn’t dead, at least ours. We’ll be making updates including First Listen’s to new albums regularly. Consider joining our community by subscribing.

Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy, GPS1: Rare Metals

The first of three. New compositions for a band that made it’s recording debut not too long ago—three years might be a long time, but for us, this group is still fresh.

Orange Afternoons Quintet, GPS2: Orange Afternoons

Dave with Ravi Coltrane, Vijay Iyer, Linda Oh, and Marcus Gilmore. ’nuff said.

Dave Douglas & So Percussion, GPS3: Bad Mango

This is the one that we were most excited about hearing around the office when we first heard of the possibility. “What would it be like?,” we thought. Well, it sounded like nothing we’d heard out of Dave before, in the best and most exciting way possible. The tunes Dave chose for this ensemble were perfectly matched, some spacey and floating dripping with tinkerings, some unabashedly sharp and driving.

GPS at Jazz Standard

Lucky folks in NYC continue to get lucky around the holidays. It seems every year Dave pulls a rabbit out of his hat and throws a shindig at somewhere in town to celebrate the year. 2011 was no different with Dave bringing in not only the three ensembles chronicling the GPS releases, but also a new band co-led by Donny McCaslin called Key Motion. Expect to hear more from that band, and all these shows in the coming months.

Three Views for charity

A special thanks to all those who got involved in the charity drive we put on at the end of the year. Thanks to you, we were able to contribute more that we hoped to the charities we listed and that you suggested. We hope the 17-player autographed copy of the Three Views box finds a nice place on your mantle or CD rack—you deserve it. We hope we can do something similar next year. Again, thanks for your generosity.

What else?

I’m sure I’m forgetting to write a bunch of things—music or otherwise—that Dave Douglas & Greenleaf were a part of in 2011. But maybe that’s a good thing. As Dylan said, “Don’t Look Back.” We don’t want to push the past too hard, just remind you of it in all it’s glory. And now that we’ve reminded you, onwards and upwards to 2012. Expect good things.


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Limited-edition autographed Three Views box for your contribution to charity.

Posted by: jim on December 20, 2011 @ 6:00 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Greenleaf Portable Series (GPS)

The end of a year is always a time to look around at some excellent nonprofits and charities that we can help. And when we were at Jazz Standard celebrating GPS with four different groups, we took the time to have all the musicians sign a few copies of the Three Views box set. We will be selling them and donating all the proceeds to charity. We’re suggesting a donation of $100 or more to any of these great causes. Below are some that were chosen by Dave, along with a few words about why they matter. If you are interested, or want to donate your purchase to a charity not on this list, please let us know.

Contact us directly to reserve your copy of this
extremely limited-edition box set.

Musician autographs: Dave Douglas, Donny McCaslin, Ravi Coltrane, Vijay Iyer, Tim Lefebvre, Mark Guiliana, Adam Benjamin, Linda Oh, EJ Strickland, Luis Bonilla, Vincent Chancey, Marcus Rojas, Rudy Royston, and all 4 members of So Percussion.

Festival of New Trumpet Music
A musician-run organization, FONT annually commissions, presents, and celebrates emerging artists and creative pioneers. Uniquely, FONT spans stylistic boundaries in its efforts, supporting a diverse and powerful vision of music involving this great instrument. Visit fontmusic.org to see who FONT has commissioned over the past 9 years.

Feeding America
Feeding America consists of a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks and food rescue organizations that serve virtually every county in the United States as well as Puerto Rico. It is the nation’s leading hunger-relief charity, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The organization supports approximately 50,000 local charitable agencies operating more than 90,000 programs including pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after-school programs, and Kids Cafes.

Rails to Trails Conservancy
Creating a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people. Imagine pedestrians taking over the entire length of America’s abandoned railways. racetotrails.org

Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Preserving and managing the Appalachian Trail, the legendary 2,180 mile walking path from Georgia to Maine. appalachiantrail.org/

Ovarian Cancer National Alliance
Working to save women’s lives from this still too common disease. Research and the search for a cure. www.ovariancancer.org/


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Dave Douglas, Three Views on Fresh Air

Posted by: jim on December 16, 2011 @ 4:59 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Greenleaf Portable Series (GPS), Press

Click below to stream the rundown of the GPS series as collected in the Three Views box set on NPR’s Fresh Air.

These programs are kept short, averaging about 40 minutes each, like an LP. Dave Douglas says they’re meant to recall the informal albums jazz musicians recorded in the 1950s. But these sessions don’t sound like one-day quickies, no matter how fast they came together.


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[Gallery] Dave Douglas’s Orange Afternoons Quintet at Jazz Standard

Posted by: jim on December 13, 2011 @ 6:30 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Greenleaf (News), Greenleaf Portable Series (GPS), Photos

Dave Douglas with Ravi Coltrane, Vijay Iyer, Linda Oh, and E.J. Strickland at Jazz Standard celebrating the Greenleaf Portable Series.

Photos by Geoff Countryman.


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[Gallery] Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy at Jazz Standard

Posted by: jim on @ 6:20 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Greenleaf Portable Series (GPS), Photos

Dave Douglas with Vincent Chancey, Luis Bonilla, Marcus Rojas, and Rudy Royston at Jazz Standard celebrating the Greenleaf Portable Series.

Photos by Geoff Countryman.


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[Gallery] Dave Douglas & So Percussion at Jazz Standard

Posted by: jim on @ 6:11 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Greenleaf Portable Series (GPS), Photos

Dave Douglas with Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, Jason Treutin, and Eric Beach (So Percussion) at Jazz Standard celebrating the Greenleaf Portable Series. Plus, special guest Luis Bonilla joined the group for the last couple tunes in the 3rd set.

Photos by Geoff Countryman.


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eMusic Q&A with Dave Douglas

Posted by: jim on November 29, 2011 @ 6:50 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Greenleaf Portable Series (GPS), Press

Below is an excerpt from the Q&A interview currently featured on eMusic. To read the full article, click here.


eMusic’s Britt Robson caught up with Douglas by phone in Berlin in November, where he was on tour with fellow trumpeter Enrico Rava before heading home for a four-night extravaganza in early December at the Jazz Standard in New York. That heralded engagement will feature each one of his three GPS ensembles on successive nights, preceded by another band whose live recording will likely become the fourth GPS release.

The last time we spoke, just a little more than a year ago, you were working on a painstaking collaboration with avant-garde film maker Bill Morrison, using archival footage to re-imagine the Frankenstein myth for “Spark of Being.” Since then, you’ve released four records, the last three of them more informal outings as the Greenleaf Portable Series. Is this hit-and-run experimentalism like a novelist writing short stories, a way to vary the creative process?

Yeah, I guess that’s a good analogy; or like, in playwriting, you imagine a cast when you write a piece. Especially when you are working with great improvisers, you want to write something that invites them into the story. Throughout my career, I’m constantly looking for different contexts to do what I do as a composer and a player. This year, having this new mode of music delivery, I said, “Wow, I can do all the things I want to do right now.”

Read more: http://www.emusic.com/music-news/interview/emusic-qa-dave-douglas/#ixzz1f7bLWtYl


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Dave Douglas / Three Views: GPS Vol 1-3 [3CD Box]

Posted by: jim on November 7, 2011 @ 11:14 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Dave Douglas (Updates), Greenleaf Portable Series (GPS)

Three Views: GPS Vol 1-3 [3CD Box]
Now available for purchase.

In 2011, Greenleaf launched a new series of releases dubbed the Greenleaf Portable Series. These three recordings found Dave Douglas leading recording sessions with different groups and players harkening back the shorter, more informal sessions that were the backbone of jazz recording for many years. GPS releases were designed to be digital-only releases to be distributed quickly here at the Greenleaf store, on iTunes, and through the Greenleaf Cloud Player. Due to the overwhelming response for the series and after multiple requests for a physical format issue, we present Three Views chronicling the three GPS releases from 2011.

Did you purchase any of the GPS digital albums?
Didn’t receive a coupon code? Let us know.


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