One More Piece of the Puzzle

Posted by: Dave Douglas on October 16, 2008 @ 5:34 am
Filed under: Culture, Events

For those trying to make a decision about the presidential election, there are no doubt many issues at stake. Anyone involved in music and the arts ought to find out where the candidates stand on support for the field. Granted, it may not seem to be the most urgent issue facing the country at the moment, but it is certainly important and says something about the candidate’s vision for the country. The impressive plan generated by Senators Obama and Biden has been circulating of late. Click the images below to see a larger view of the campaign’s fact sheet on Arts and Culture.

Obama Fact Sheet1 Obama Fact Sheet2

After scouring Senator McCain’s issue web site, no mention of the arts. Even the National Endowment for the Arts receives 0 mentions. Surely, the campaign has a position on it, but there’s no information available.


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Jimmy Giuffre Three

Posted by: Dave Douglas on October 14, 2008 @ 7:13 am
Filed under: Music

The Train and The River

Jimmy Giuffre, Bob Brookmeyer, and Jim Hall at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1958.

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Thanks to Jacksonville

Posted by: Dave Douglas on @ 6:50 am
Filed under: Culture, Events

For a great time at University of North Florida. Excellent undergraduate program directed by Bunky Green, enthusiastic big band run by trumpeter J.B. Scott, and experienced, expert direction from Clarence Hines, Lynne Arriale, Dennis Marks, Marc Dickman and others. It’s not often that you see this kind of enthusiasm for music, openness to learning, and inspiring craftsmanship. And it may sound selfish to say, but I learned a lot. Thanks and happy trails.

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So True

Posted by: Dave Douglas on @ 6:47 am
Filed under: Culture

Have to agree with Hendrik Hertzberg here:

I have found, over the years, that the only really foolproof way to refresh my patriotism is to listen to American music. An hour with Thelonious Monk, Bruce Springsteen, Mose Allison, Dar Williams, the Cashes (Johnny and Rosanne), Emmylou Harris, John Coltrane [list continues till long past Election Day] provides nonpareil spiritual refreshment.

With a great Ralph Stanley video.

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Pan-Stylism as one option

Posted by: Dave Douglas on October 13, 2008 @ 7:45 am
Filed under: Dave Douglas (Artist Thoughts)

There’ve been quite a few emails (for which Thank You) about The Demands of Style, several beginning with an agreement about pan-stylism as a concept.

To clarify – the article was not proposing that pan-stylism actually rules the day, or is some sort of central focus of today’s music. Rather, that the idea of pan-stylism is one example, among many, of an approach that musicians are finding useful. And as with any method, it has its benefits and its limitations.

It’s an illusion to think that artists can pick and chose resources in a non-linear, unbiased, a-historical way. Music is not a science experiment. Great music — of any variety — is made by musicians with lots of experience with ideas (and beyond ideas), with the sure knowledge of whether their music is working or not. None of the masterworks seem to have been made willy-nilly.

Personal style is built of many elements, physical, environmental, social, economic, and more. It serves in fomenting a musician’s deepest desire for expression. (And of course expression and the very notion of expression come in all varieties, too.) Pan-stylism would be one example of this process playing out. It’s one current option for musicians in finding their own personal style.

But when it comes to making music, it’s not possible to be all things to all people. Sound comes out. It sounds a certain way. That’s what it is.

What’s remarkable is how the examination of musical issues shuts down when it focuses only on The Music I Like. There are innumerable ways in music, and the limitations of personal preference can be deadening. With all respect for individual taste, an overview of musical practice has to take a step away from genre related value judgments. This is much bigger than jazz, classical or any other kind of music.


Go Ahead Adam

Posted by: Dave Douglas on @ 7:31 am
Filed under: Culture, Kneebody (Updates)

Adam Benjamin starts a blog.

It WILL NOT be a “whoa dude check out this really big sandwich” blog.
It WILL be a “And now, in five paragraphs, here is the most salient analysis of jazz education and its relation to American culture ever published” blog.


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Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week

Posted by: Dave Douglas on @ 7:17 am
Filed under: Culture

Sent by Halifax drummer Jerry Granelli:


We no longer regard a work of art as a gimmick or as confirmation. It is simply expression — not even self expression, just expression. We could safely say that there is such a thing as unconditional expression that does not come from self or other. It manifests out of nowhere, like mushrooms in a meadow, like hailstones, like thundershowers.

From “Heaven, Earth and Man,” in The Art of Calligraphy. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF CHOGYAM TRUNGPA, Volume Seven, page 191. Also in the forthcoming volume TRUE PERCEPTION: THE PATH OF DHARMA ART

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Top Ten List….

Posted by: Michael Bates on October 12, 2008 @ 9:57 am
Filed under: Michael Bates (Artist Thoughts)

Tomorrow I fly home after nearly four weeks on the road in the US, Canada and Europe. Looking forward to that!

After my last post, I got an email from Dave Douglas asking me to put together a list: “top ten little things that a scruffy tour manager/band leader/bassist/travel agent needs to know to lead a band around Europe”. Scruffy? …guilty as charged.

Here’s what I came up with. Some obvious things like “hire musicians you get along with” and “don’t work for jerks” were omitted and I’ve left the bottom of the post open for comments so please feel free to add to the list.

So in no particular order, here is my non-exclusive, non-comprehensive list of things that a “scruffy tour manager/band leader/bassist/travel agent needs to know to lead a band around Europe”.

10-Make lists. Lots of them. Commit as much to memory as possible. Include: projected incomes and expenses, a complete tour itinerary, tour budget, contacts, travel days with estimated trip durations, days off, club/hotel addresses and travel documents. ***Make sure to carry hard copies with you, on your computer and also email them to yourself.

9-Invest in a GPS….and depending on the distance, add 1 or 2 hours to your travel time.

8-Get a contract. Be clear with club owners, promoters and your band about fees, dates, responsibilities, visas, riders, meals, pick up and departure times etc etc.

7-Rest is a weapon/food is a weapon. A good night’s sleep and eating properly will drastically increase your tolerance for any unforseen challenges on the road. (***This might be the most important tip I can offer!)

6-As the leader, be flexible. It’s your attitude that sets the tone for the tour. Be prepared to take a hit for the team. It shows you’ll do what you can to keep the band happy (and buying the band a nice meal every once in while can go a long way towards that too.).

5-Promote the gigs/tour to the best of your ability and don’t rely on clubs to do it for you. Be sure to send out posters and press releases to newspapers, magazines, journalists, fellow musicians and anyone else you can think of. Also, post bulletins on Myspace, Facebook, All About Jazz and every other source you can find.

4-Community. Use your contacts! Friends in other cities make all the difference. I often think that if I hadn’t taken part in the Banff Jazz Workshop, I would never have gotten any tour of the ground.

3-Personal space. Respect it as much as possible and always get individual hotel rooms…even on days off. Don’t underestimate this. If you need to do a homestay once in a while it’s ok but don’t push it. Also do what you can to have the hotel as close to the venue as possible. That way everyone in the band can choose what they want to do after the gig.

2-Book flights through a travel agent. It can save you HOURS-trust me because I know first hand. Also, travel agents can find tickets for the same price as most websites and often they can book flights that you can change for a fee. Sites like Expedia don’t often allow this and there can be real consequences as tours can change in the blink of an eye.

1-Think big picture. Remember that touring is an investment in the future. Keep in mind that everyone in this industry is somehow connected. I always work on the premise that I want to come back to play for the next 20 years. So make a good impression: Play your heart out every night, have good manners, thank the promoter, thank the audience, be kind, be honest, be patient, stand up for yourself when necessary but choose your battles.

…oh yes….and we all must remember number eleven:

the music is why we all do this…can’t forget that.


Who’s Not Honoring Me Now? Miguel Zenon

Posted by: admin on October 11, 2008 @ 8:45 am
Filed under: Culture

America’s favorite mock blowhard honors Miguel Zenon with his righteous anger:

Colbert famously razzed John Zorn (note: this clip has an obligatory advert up front) last year. For those not familiar with his character, the persona he has created is a parody of this famous television personality. Enjoy.

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Who's Not Honoring Me Now? Miguel Zenon

Posted by: Dave Douglas on @ 8:45 am
Filed under: Culture

America’s favorite mock blowhard honors Miguel Zenon with his righteous anger:

Colbert famously razzed John Zorn (note: this clip has an obligatory advert up front) last year. For those not familiar with his character, the persona he has created is a parody of this famous television personality. Enjoy.

No Comments

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