DDQ: Live at Village Vanguard

Posted by: jim on December 9, 2009 @ 10:11 am
Filed under: A Single Sky, Dave Douglas (News), Events, Listening, Subscriber News

The Quintet continues at the Vanguard tonight. Thanks to all who’ve been and will be there this weekend.

The FLACs of the set from the Vanguard last night are being added to our subscriber downloads database. Those are lossless files that you subscribers can download and sink your ears in to. Thanks to WBGO and NPR for their work. Enjoy.

For non-subscribers, plenty of music to listen to at the NPR Vanguard page. And if you’d like to join our Greenleaf subscriber community, click here to see all the current special offer.

We hope to see you out at the Vanguard. Tickets are available here.

December 11th, 2009

A quick update on those files. We’ve split the set into tracks rather than the one big file up over at NPR Vanguard page. We cut the chatter, too. So it’s as clean as possible.

Also, of the seven tunes played, four have not been released yet. Those tunes and a lot of the new book that the Quintet have been and will play this weekend is scheduled to be recorded and released on the next Quintet studio album tentatively scheduled for late 2010.


4 Comments

Listening back…

Posted by: jim on November 11, 2009 @ 2:45 pm
Filed under: Culture, Listening

Great interview with Willard Jenkins over at A Blog Supreme.

“…I think baby boomers have to a great extent been products of arrested musical development; that is they have stayed with those more popular music genres — even to the point of being more invested in “oldies” of their development years than in current contemporary music — and have not grown in terms of their music sensibilities to embrace the more “serious” forms of music, i.e. jazz, classical, contemporary chamber music, opera, etc. Supposedly when we grow and develop we don’t for example continue to read books and publications that are geared more towards children or teens. So why not the same relationship with music?”

Obviously, it’s a little off their topic, but that question got me thinking…

As a person who is constantly seeking out new music in almost all genres, some of the most powerful music remains those records I heard in my formative years. I have a weird bond with them, and I think even people who don’t think of themselves as music appreciators do, too. I know every note of that album, every word, everything about them, what I was doing when I first heard it, and when the last time I listened to it. It’s almost as if, since the amount of music I had heard up to say 16 pails in comparison to how much I’ve heard now, an album stood on a superlative pillar of Nothing Like This Has Ever Been Done.

Like when I heard Kid A. My favorite Radiohead album hands down, and really the first of theirs that I REALLY got into. Most of my older friends say that record has nothing on OK Computer. And some of my younger friends say neither has anything on their newest. Not the best example since preference has a lot to do with it. But still, introductions to a band or album in those years are powerful. Just thinking now… American Beauty by the Dead — 7th grade mowing the lawn. Or Kind of Blue — 16 with headphones in my neighborhood library freaking out! So many vivid memories brought on by just hearing that first note.

I still get excited about new music. I work for a boss who delivers extremely exciting and inspirational albums to my doorstep every few months. And every year, I hear at least 30 albums that I think are 10-out-of-10. So I’m certainly not starved for content nor do I EVER hark back the days of old when music was “different.” But I have so much to compare everything to now. I understand a lot more about it. “Serious” music or not, I know that those albums have shaped what I listen to now (for better or worse), and that’s one reason why I continue to go back to them.

Not everyone wants to grow into new music. Some like to sit and listen to those records that changed them or simply to what they know. And this is present in jazz and other “serious” music today, too. But for those who continue to seek out new music in this new age of music consumption, it’s all right at our fingertips ready to be discovered by us and a new generation. And that feeling I got from those albums I heard in my formative years that I’m searching for to feel again will be felt by some other 16 year old.


5 Comments

Jazz Now @ A Blog Supreme

Posted by: jim on September 16, 2009 @ 9:42 am
Filed under: Culture, Listening, Music

A new series was unveiled this week at A Blog Supreme. Jazz Now is a series of posts from some younger folks in the jazz community listing their Tops Lists of albums from the last 10 years. Each post has streaming music from each of the chosen albums.

Today, Lucas Gillan from the very-cool AccuJazz Radio offered his list which included Mehldau’s Largo — a hugely popular record in my college days — and a local Chicago favorite Herculaneum (who just released their third record). More lists to follow.

As a lover of Top 5 lists, really looking forward to digging on what I hope will be some previously unheard music.


1 Comment

A Call To Arts

Posted by: Dave Douglas on August 20, 2009 @ 8:13 am
Filed under: Culture, Dave Douglas (Artist Thoughts), Music, Perennials

From the most recent guest post at NPR’s A Blog Supreme.

A Call To Arts
by Dave Douglas

It’s good to see arts and especially jazz philanthropy back in business, thinking about what to fund and how best to fund it and not so much about how to punishing artists who use government money to smear their bodies in chocolate or worrying about just how in particular they plan to use that crucifix. There’s a new director at the National Endowment for the Arts named Rocco Landesman who is more interested in putting on shows; The Doris Duke Foundation and Mary Flagler Cary are out with innovative initiatives; and the alphabets — MTC, CMA, AMC, NYFA, NYSCA — are all looking at ways of giving jazz and related music a place at the table. All I can say is, Thank You. Finally. At long last, we can sit down and have a decent fight over real pieces of the pie.

Helping artists and communities is more important than cracking down on profanity. I was reminded of this the other day when my drummer Nasheet Waits was sent to overweight/oversize baggage for the third time even though his cymbals are no bigger than most bags (smaller than many!) and weighs easily within the range of your average over-packed summer traveler. (I mean their bags.) The cymbals just look different. Nasheet displayed admirable poise, while I was about to explode with the kind of filth that would make Rahm Emanuel blush. It was probably just a better idea to get the cymbals on their way down through the baggage mill.

Arts are important to people’s lives. Vincent Chancey grew up in a foster home, and when his public school gave him a chance to play music he chose the weirdest looking instrument he could find. A French horn man was born, even though there’s nothing French about that horn, and even Congress wanted to change the name to Freedom Horn a few years back. But with just that smallest push, Vincent developed an idiosyncratic personal style on the horn that led to a career with Sun Ra, Lester Bowie and Diana Krall among many others. Now if we could just get him to put the thing down. Vincent’s son Bahij is headed to Yale in the fall, on a scholarship to study architecture.

In 1990 I wasn’t sure where I fit into a scene polarized by young lions, hardcore downtown avant-garde and a livelihood playing weddings, bar mitzvahs, jingles and brisses. That was the year I received an individual artist grant for composition from the National Endowment for the Arts (funding of individual artists was discontinued in 1996). It meant a lot, even if only that there was a societal value to the creative work that I really wanted to do. My musically inclined but somewhat conservative father was scandalized. (“My tax dollars are going to What?!?!”)

Are the arts controversy-free? Clearly my father didn’t think so. No, the arts aren’t all clean, but neither is life itself. Now there’s the Internet, keeping kids aware of all that’s going on around them in the world if you can get them to look away from the screen for more than a few seconds. If these initiatives have their way, when they do look away they will see arts in addition to schoolwork. It’s not safe looking at a computer screen all day, or perhaps being an artist, but there are other dangers out there, like swine flu, sexting, contaminated vegetables, Octomoms, municipal rackets marketing human kidneys, not to mention Town Hall meetings. A little controversial artwork is the least of our worries.

(more…)


7 Comments

Newport Festival 2009

Posted by: jim on August 12, 2009 @ 12:41 pm
Filed under: Culture, Events

Patrick Jarenwattananon is updating us with his rundown of the Newport Festival at A Blog Supreme. Two interesting topics to read his thoughts on besides the music — Where Were The Young People At Your Last Concert?, and Can Jazz Be Saved? (Is That A Useful Question?).

In the Where were the Young People…, he writes:

I didn’t think I’d ever see Chicago free jazz at Newport. (More on that act in a later post.) But this band, one of Ken Vandermark’s most approachable, brought distorted, punk-ish backbeats as an anchor. Some younger folks didn’t appreciate it, but there were a lot of heads nodding. Including an old lady standing next to me.

Being that I’m in his hometown I have seen Vandermark play dozens of times with a few of his bands. The majority of those shows haven’t included more than 5 people over 40. I’ve often wondered why that was. Reading this just threw me for a loop. Patrick, come see Powerhouse Sound play in Chicago. You’ll be surprised how many young’n’s are there.

Thanks also for pointing me to the 15 Steps / Take 5 mashup…

More tidbits on the Festival via Jim Macnie’s Lament For A Straight Line (thanks to Accujazz’s Twitter for keeping me updated with hundreds of worthy links to check out).


5 Comments

Niches Brew: Musicians Creating a Way Forward

Posted by: Dave Douglas on July 7, 2009 @ 8:54 am
Filed under: Dave Douglas (Artist Thoughts), Music Business News, Music Technology

This is part of the series Jazz in the Digital Age at NPR’s A Blog Supreme.

Niches Brew: Musicians Creating a Way Forward

More and more folks in the music industry are singing the blues these days.

A critic lamented the lack of paid outlets for his writing and sheepishly admitted taking a gig with a jazz festival. A club owner sobbed over attendance and how the music is just not what it used to be (though he was still ornery enough to get snobby with those who did show). A booking agent grumbled that jazz audiences aren’t the same anymore and that he’s dealing with sub-par venues because they’re the only game in town.

If you were only to read the papers it would be easy to think the entire musical culture was about to collapse. True, times are tough, and not just in the arts. The economy’s struggling. Magazines, newspapers, and books: a combination of circumstances is cutting into their primacy. The good things they brought to the culture will be missed.

But looking a little deeper, this is a time of great opportunity. Not to be Pollyanna-ish about it, but new outlets are sprouting everywhere. It’s just that they’re different than the old outlets. They are in development, and many people comfortable with the old system can be impatient and dismissive of this alien intrusion.

(more…)


10 Comments

Jazz: ‘High Speed And Broadband Ready’

Posted by: admin on June 17, 2009 @ 9:26 am
Filed under: Culture, Dave Douglas (News), Music Business News, Music Technology

Dave first contribution to NPR’s A Blog Supreme was published this morning.  Below is an excerpt.  And here is a direct link to his post.

Jazz: ‘High Speed And Broadband Ready’

Last week I played one of your more curious gigs.

Across high speed internet, thanks to software developed by Chris Chafe at Stanford University, I improvised in real time with musicians in Banff, Canada; San Diego, Calif.; Troy, N.Y.; and Belfast, Northern Ireland. The other musicians, among them Mark Dresser, Michael Dessen, and Pauline Oliveros, were visible only by video iChat (miserably slow compared to the audio).

The remarkable thing was how effortless the improvisation felt. I have played many gigs standing right next to Mark Dresser, so there was instantly a familiar feeling. But I had never played with any of the other musicians. As soon as we were improvising, there were no barriers to the communication. The fluidity of improvisation and jazz makes it 100% ready for these 21st century technologies.


No Comments

Jazz: 'High Speed And Broadband Ready'

Posted by: jim on @ 9:26 am
Filed under: Culture, Dave Douglas (News), Music Business News, Music Technology

Dave first contribution to NPR’s A Blog Supreme was published this morning.  Below is an excerpt.  And here is a direct link to his post.

Jazz: ‘High Speed And Broadband Ready’

Last week I played one of your more curious gigs.

Across high speed internet, thanks to software developed by Chris Chafe at Stanford University, I improvised in real time with musicians in Banff, Canada; San Diego, Calif.; Troy, N.Y.; and Belfast, Northern Ireland. The other musicians, among them Mark Dresser, Michael Dessen, and Pauline Oliveros, were visible only by video iChat (miserably slow compared to the audio).

The remarkable thing was how effortless the improvisation felt. I have played many gigs standing right next to Mark Dresser, so there was instantly a familiar feeling. But I had never played with any of the other musicians. As soon as we were improvising, there were no barriers to the communication. The fluidity of improvisation and jazz makes it 100% ready for these 21st century technologies.


No Comments

Switch to our mobile site