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.
Dave Douglas Quintet performing at Aperitivo in Concerto in Milano Italy, March 3, 2013
Dave Douglas, trumpet
Walter Smith III, tenor saxophone
Matt Mitchell, piano
Linda Oh, bass
Rudy Royston, drums
“One Morning” (Gillian Welch cover)
Get the album version of Garden State for free here.
*with Aoife O’Donovan
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.
CD preorder coming soon to Dave’s Bandcamp.
Preorder now available!
Watch a 60-second advance bit of video from the forthcoming album “Time Travel” by Dave Douglas featuring Jon Irabagon, Matt Mitchell, Linda Oh, and Rudy Royston.
Album: Time Travel
Audio: “Law Of Historical Memory”
Release Date: April 9th, 2013
Label: Greenleaf Music
Recorded & Mixed by Joe Ferla
Film by Christoph Green
More videos coming soon.
Dave Douglas Quintet
with special guest Aoife O’Donovan
Dave Douglas with Rome Auditorium Jazz Orchestra
I had a few questions for Dave as we proofed the Be Still Book. A brief discussion ensued. Warning: this gets really muso nerdy.
JT: Such a cool chord sequence on Be Still My Soul. Love reading through these charts with my axe.
DD: Thanks! Felt like I hit on something there. Originally there was no repeat around the bar of Ab7. Adding it made the whole chart come together.
JT: Yeah, a nice little breath. That bassline just sounds so weird on it’s own. Speaking of, first bar you note a Cmaj7#5 but the middle voice of that chord goes to an A natural. Typo? Or just over my head? Sounds cool on guitar anyway.
DD: Aha! Love it.
OK so the natural 6 on a maj7#5 chord creates a half step (between the raised fifth and the natural sixth). But it sounds ambiguous and bittersweet (in my opinion) because it can remind you of an Aminmaj7 chord. But yes, the natural sixth on that chord is kosher in my opinion.
Also the fact that the tonic chord of the tune is E major adds to the ambiguity, Cmaj toggling between the function of #5 and b6 in the key of E.
I like the movement from the G#7 — you think it’s going to go to C#min. But it goes to C#min with an E in the bass. So you get a triple confusion because of the tonal function: Not only are you deceived into a false resolution, you also tricked your ear into hearing the tonic note (E) as an inversion of the natural 6th degree minor chord. Also, you have been hearing up until now the flatted 6th degree of the scale (as in Cmaj7#5) so you’re basically hearing a triple deception by suddenly getting the natural sixth. Also that at the same moment the melody goes back towards E major, the bass finally hits an open low E, and the progression from that point moves back up to the b6. That’s why I cry right there. Don’t know about you. Dig?
Hey I wrote all that while Finley was trying to get me to play with her new toy squirrel. Anyway. Enjoy it. Thanks for asking.
While that wasn’t completely over my head, I had to reread that paragraph a few times in front of the piano. Pick up a copy of the digital or printed book and play the chart to find your own sequence to nerd out with.
Donny McCaslin Group with Jason Lindner, Tim Lefebvre, and Zach Danziger play tunes from Casting For Gravity on the Voice of America stage as part of Beyond Category with Eric Felton.
About Beyond Category:
The great Duke Ellington described the best music as being “beyond category.” “Beyond Category with Eric Felten” brings the best of jazz, blues, swing, and more.
Join host Eric Felten in the clubs around Washington D.C. for a behind-the-scenes, intimate conversation with world-class musicians working in jazz and blues. Part interview, part jam session, explore the history, rhythms and sounds of great music.
Your host, a jazz trombonist in his own right, interviews great artists – and sits in to perform with them, taking the audience on an unpredictable musical adventure.
via NPR’s A Blog Supreme: This is “High On A Mountain,” by Ola Belle Reed, a pioneering folk and bluegrass musician from the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. It too has become standard repertoire, at least within the bluegrass community. Reed recorded the song for a 1976 album called My Epitaph, and she talked about the tune for the liner notes (link opens PDF):
I’ve been asked many times to describe my life in the mountains. There’s one point I’d specifically like to make and want to make is that I don’t believe there would be any way in the world that you could possibly describe it. … really and truly we were so close to the earth and the elements and the God’s creation. I think that’s the one thing that made them know. I think that the music and everything comes through communication with people. The people lived with the earth, they had to make their living. That’s why I’m saying that you can not separate your music from your lifestyle. You cannot separate your lifestyle, your religion, your politics from your music. It’s a part of life. And that’s what our music was in the mountains. It was a part of our life.
Dave Douglas Quintet ft special guest Aoife O’Donovan
w/ Jon Irabagon, Matt Mitchell, Linda Oh & Clarence Penn
***Live stream via Checkout/WBGO/NPR***
8:00PM EST @ 92Y-Tribeca / 200 Hudson Street, NYC
I sincerely hope you can join me Wednesday, September 19 at 8pm for the first performance of Be Still — music from my new album featuring vocalist Aoife O’Donovan, saxophonist Jon Irabagon, pianist Matt Mitchell, bassist Linda Oh, and drummer Clarence Penn. It’s a very beautiful new project and something I am eager to share with you.
Be Still initially came about from a collection of hymn songs suggested by my mother, Emily Douglas. She passed away last year after a long battle with ovarian cancer. She wanted a joyous celebration of life, and playing these arrangements with Aoife and the band has been powerfully uplifting and life-affirming. Far from funereal (!), playing these tunes has become a true celebration for us, and the kind of party that Emily would have wanted.
I never imagined I would be playing this music, and yet the songs have come to life for me in a rich and powerfully personal way. Along with the hymns, I’ve written some new pieces for the band, and arranged a few more folk songs. Adding harmonies and improvisations brings a new context for these songs, and the musicians in this project are bringing so much of themselves to the music. This is a new area for me after many years in music and I look forward to sharing it on Wednesday and beyond.
Thanks and best.