A Single Sky

Posted by: jim on August 28, 2009 @ 8:14 am
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Music
A Single Sky

We are proud to announce the release of Dave’s first big band album — a collaboration with Jim McNeely and one of Europe’s longest-running groups, the Frankfurt Radio Bigband.   A Single Sky is set for release in late October. It features 3 selections from Dave’s big band suite, Delighted States, which debuted at JazzBaltica 2008 (view that performance here), and 4 pieces from the Douglas catalog arranged by the multi-Grammy-winning Jim McNeely. Thanks to painter Terry Winters for the beautiful cover art.

Tracks and times:

1. The Presidents – 9:32
2. Bury Me Standing – 9:57
3. A Single Sky – 11:12
4. Campaign Trail – 8:55
5. Tree and Shrub – 5:00
6. Persistence of Memory – 11:09
7. Blockbuster – 6:43

More info coming soon.


The Trailing Tails of Opportunity

Posted by: Rich Johnson on August 25, 2009 @ 10:40 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Andrew Dubber at New Music Strategies has a great take on this graphic from Information is Beautiful.

While the multi-billion dollar recorded music industry has seen a steady decline in sales over the last decade, the industry as a whole may just be entering into “one of those golden ages for musical culture that seem to coincide with the skinny bits of that graph.”



Posted by: Dave Douglas on @ 8:00 am
Filed under: Music Business News, Music Technology

From the NY Times: A Few Dollars at a Time, Patrons Support Artists on the Web. Kickstarter is a funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, explorers…

DIY goes mainstream.

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Like The Onion

Posted by: Dave Douglas on August 21, 2009 @ 12:40 pm
Filed under: Music, Music Business News

But True… Pitchfork advances the new Gargantuan Miles Davis Boxed Set…. 71 discs!


RE: Rashied Ali

Posted by: jim on August 20, 2009 @ 12:48 pm
Filed under: Listening, Music

New post at Destination: Out offering a few tracks from Rashied Ali’s career.

From Destination: Out

Despite being on an August hiatus, we couldn’t let the passing of Rashied Ali linger too long without adding our own tribute. Rashied Ali was one of most important drummers in jazz – both for his controversial tenure with John Coltrane and his remarkable second act as owner of both Survival Records and loft space Ali’s Alley, and for the stellar ensembles he led.

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A Call To Arts

Posted by: Dave Douglas on @ 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.



Brass Ecstasy Euro-Tour Video Montage

Posted by: jim on August 19, 2009 @ 1:19 pm
Filed under: Brass Ecstasy, Events, Humor, Music

We were lucky enough to have Geoff Countryman on tour with Brass Ecstasy in Europe this summer. Upon return, we were sent a boatload of clips from each of the bands performances as well as some candid shots of classic on-the-road happenings captured by Mr. Countryman. So we assembled a little montage for your viewing pleasure. As you watch, you will be hearing a track from the On Stage download series we put up last month called “Spirit Moves.”

Also, at the GreenleafMusicHQ YouTube page, we’ve made a new playlist compiling all the Brass Ecstasy videos — the live Tiny Desk Concert, this montage, as well as the in-studio videos from the DVD part of Spirit Moves.


1 Comment

It seems like less people are dancing…

Posted by: jim on August 18, 2009 @ 11:10 am
Filed under: Culture, Events, Listening, Music

So many responses and comments regarding Terry Teachout’s “Can Jazz Be Saved?” post out there. Still more coming in daily.

Like this from Ramsey Lewis:

“…Diz was overheard telling Bird that “We better be careful ’cause it seems like less people are dancing than before.”

Even then, some jazz musicians desired to become artists and forsake entertainment. Some, however, found a way to do both without sacrificing their integrity, but alas, not enough of us.

The art of talking to and interacting with one’s audience does not cost an artist any loss of respect. On the contrary, it adds to the audience’s overall experience of the music.”

I’ve certainly felt this way before. But really only at the most polarizing of concerts — shows where the leader of the group refuses to acknowledge the audience in any way or say anything to them. I have to say that those few times I can think of, the music itself wasn’t very good to begin with, and being mindful of the audience I don’t think could have saved it.

I’m wondering how important it is for our readers — those who attend concerts regularly — for there to be a level of entertainment aside from listening to and watching the players play. Any thoughts?

Regardless, the conversation happening almost everywhere on the web is one to keep your eyes on.


Three Links for Monday

Posted by: jim on August 17, 2009 @ 2:37 pm
Filed under: Chicago News, Culture, Listening, Music, Music Business News

A few rock-related links to pass on in case you’re interested…

New Radiohead Tune Leaked – “These Are My Twisted Words?

Jonny from Dead Air Space: So here’s a new song, called ‘These Are My Twisted Words’.

We’ve been recording for a while, and this was one of the first we finished. We’re pretty proud of it.

There’s other stuff in various states of completion, but this is one we’ve been practicing, and which we’ll probably play at this summer’s concerts. Hope you like it.

It seems they actually leaked it. Perhaps a piece of the “great idea” Thom mentioned in a recent interview. Never a dull moment with those guys.

New Jim O’Rourke Album – “The Visitor”

Stream a preview of a track at the new Drag City website. More details to follow, I’m sure.

Bob Dylan mistaken for Hobo

From boingboing.com – New Jersey police detained 68-year old American music star Bob Dylan recently, after a young officer failed to recognize him. A disheveled Dylan was wearing a hoodie, wandering around in the rain looking at a house for sale. The 24-year-old female officer was responding to a phone call from the occupants of a home that had a “For Sale” sign on it. The residents were called in with a report of an “eccentric-looking old man” in their yard .

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Rashied Ali

Posted by: Dave Douglas on August 13, 2009 @ 11:06 am
Filed under: Culture, Music

Greatly saddened by the passing – but uplifted by the nonstop music at WKCR. Listen live here.

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