Fast Future

Posted by: russell on March 3, 2015 @ 12:00 am
Filed under: CD/FLAC/MP3, Donny McCaslin, store

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Featuring Jason Lindner, Tim Lefebvre, & Mark Guiliana. Produced by David Binney.

The only thing predictable about Donny McCaslin’s first ten albums was their unpredictability. Each new release arrived with a new line-up and not infrequently a new direction, often providing the perpetually curious saxophonist/composer with fertile new ground to explore.

On the surface, what makes McCaslin’s latest release, Fast Future (available March 31, 2015 on Dave Douglas’ Greenleaf Music), something of a radical departure from his usual M.O., is that it reprises the stunning electro-acoustic quartet from its groundbreaking, critically-acclaimed predecessor, Casting for Gravity – a project that earned McCaslin a 2014 GRAMMY® nomination for “Best Instrumental Jazz Solo” on the track “Stadium Jazz.” However as the title implies, Fast Future finds McCaslin and company – keyboardist Jason Lindner, bassist Tim Lefebvre, and drummer Mark Guiliana, along with longtime producer David Binney – hurtling further into the relatively unexplored crossroads between jazz and electronica with virtuosic musicianship. Long influenced by fusion pioneers like Weather Report and Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, McCaslin integrates those hybrid instincts with innovative modern artists like Aphex Twin and Skrillex.

“I really love the sonic textures and ambient vibe that you hear in a lot of that music,” says McCaslin of the influence that electronica and EDM (Electronic Dance Music) has had on his music. “Having these guys improvising and interacting within that sonic landscape feels great.”

“…[McCaslin] may prove to be an important portal for expanding the shrinking jazz audience.”

– The Huffington Post

At the core of even the most adventurous soundscapes on Fast Future – McCaslin’s fourth album for Greenleaf and the first release during the company’s 10th anniversary year – are similar sensibilities that have fueled McCaslin’s acoustic music, namely vigorous melodies, taut interaction, and the leader’s instantly recognizable, brawny tenor voice. Take “No Eyes,” a cover of a song by Baths, the alter ego of L.A.-based electronica artist Will Wiesenfeld. Atop the electronic synth-bass throb sits a gorgeous, singable melody, which Binney enhances via transcendent wordless vocals (an element that was not previously highlighted on Casting for Gravity). “Sometimes in the electronica realm there’s not enough harmonic movement or melody for me,” McCaslin says. “But that song is a beautiful tune in and of itself and you could play it in a variety of ways.” It is in this overall spirit that Fast Future showcases McCaslin in a slightly more commercial context, featuring production tendencies that are more often reserved for non-jazz projects. “Greenleaf has again provided an opportunity for me to experiment and that comes from the openness and sensibility of Dave Douglas,” says McCaslin, who was a member of Douglas’ quintet.

McCaslin is well known for his standout playing in the Maria Schneider Orchestra (having recently been featured on the David Bowie/Maria Schneider collaboration, “Sue”) and Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project, and he compares the feeling of playing amid lush electronic environments to soloing against those vivid big-band backdrops. “Standing and playing in front of this bed of beauty is such a joy,” he says. “It’s so awesome to be surrounded by such deep music.”

From the bombastic grooves of the title track, through the lustrous ballad “Midnight Light” and the frantic free-jazz mutation of Aphex Twin’s “54 Cymru Beats,” to the final dub-tinged stealth of closer “Squeeze Thru,” which evokes McCaslin’s youth in Santa Cruz, seeing reggae legends like Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, Mighty Diamonds, and Burning Spear live, Fast Future offers a thrilling vision of the shape and redefinition of jazz to come.

 

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Perpetual Motion #TBT and Donny McCaslin at Regattabar Feb 12th

Posted by: russell on January 29, 2015 @ 4:12 pm
Filed under: Donny McCaslin, Events

As we move through 2015 we want to take a moment to reflect on all the great music that we’ve been lucky enough to release over the past 10 years.

Donny McCaslin’s Perpetual Motion (preview and buy) shares its fourth anniversary (on January 25) as Dave Douglas’ Mountain Passages. Not to be overshadowed by that or by Donny’s subsequent projects, this “fiercely contemporary and exploratory” (JazzTimes) with its “hard-hitting funk vamps and percolating polyrhythm” (AllAbout Jazz) sets the stage for 2012’s electro-jazz excitement of Casting for Gravity as well as his next release, Fast Future. Check it out! #TBT #Greenleaf10

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No saxophonist is more deserving of wider recognition than McCaslin, and this acoustic-electric effort may be his best yet. It’s bop, it’s funk, and it’s rock, all in one. – Steve Greenlee, The Boston Globe

 

If you’re in the Boston area don’t miss Donny at Regatta Bar on February 12th at 7:30 pm for one set. He’ll be playing with Jason Lindner on keyboards, Matt Clohesy on electric bass and Mark Guiliana on drums in a pre-release effort for his upcoming record Fast Future on Greenleaf Music. Get your tickets here before they run out!

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Celebrating 10 Years of Greenleaf Music

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Greenleaf Music celebrates its 10th Anniversary in 2015. It seems like only yesterday–much less ten years ago–that Dave Douglas and Mike Friedman founded the company together.

Greenleaf was born of a desire to make and distribute music in a different way, to provide a new platform for Dave’s work as well as for artists he wants to showcase, and to create a community of like-minded fans to discover and enjoy that music. Since 2005 we’re proud to have released over 40 different projects: countless albums from Dave Douglas, as well as artists Kneebody, Donny McCaslin, Michael Bates, Nicole Mitchell, Curtis MacDonald, Linda Oh, Matt Ulery, Rudy Royston, Riverside and Ryan Keberle.

As the year passes, we’ll be focusing on our new projects (from Donny McCaslin on March 31 as well as from Dave’s new band High Risk in the summer and his famed Quintet in the Fall). We’ll also remember the company’s previous releases, especially the first three: Kneebody’s Break Me and Dave Douglas’ Mountain Passages and Keystone. We want to get this music in to your hands, so we’re celebrating with a sale (more on that below).

As a special treat for our loyal subscribers, we’ll also be recording a band of Greenleaf alumni and giving the tracks away as part of our subscription series. Dave, Chet Doxas, Ryan Keberle, Frank Woeste, Linda Oh, and Rudy Royston recorded new originals written by Dave earlier this week. Also, Kneebody is recording a new version of the Shane Endsley tune Break Me in honor of the 10th anniversary of their release. We’ll post the first track soon!

“Greenleaf is a family name that goes back at least four centuries. I wanted the label to have a sense of family, both in the way we treat recordings and in the way we deal with artists. You can sit around and gripe about the music industry ’til you’re blue in the face or you can do it yourself and act on what you believe in.”

-Dave Douglas, 2005

Mountain-PassagesThe first record on Greenleaf Music was Dave’s Mountain Passages, released ten years ago today. The New York Times wrote that it’s “a cross between the energetic Balkan-tinged improvisation heard in Mr. Douglas’s Tiny Bell Trio and the hushed dynamics of another of his bands, Charms of the Night Sky…a provocative groove and vamp, and a style of ensemble playing that’s dynamically hushed but emotionally hot.”

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The ensemble, NOMAD, was formed to play music inspired by the myths and the spirit of rural mountain culture. The instrumentation of trumpet, clarinet, cello, tuba and percussion are envisioned as an imaginary traveling band, and their first performances took place high in the Italian Dolomites as part of the festival I Suoni delle Dolomitti. Partially inspired by his love of world folk music, NOMAD also carries the spirit of jazz that informs all of Dave’s music. Mountain Passages is a profound and playful mix that veers between the solemnity of solitary contemplation and the drunken debauchery of ecstatic celebration. If you haven’t had a chance to check out this work, take the opportunity now!

We’re offering a physical copy of Mountain Passages for $8 and a digital download for $5 at the Greenleaf Music Online Store for 1 week celebrating the 10 year anniversary of its release.

We’re excited to have shared ten years of great music with all of you and look forward to celebrating it all again this year.

Want more music? We feel the same way.

 

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The Big Sale

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THE BIG SALE

For a limited time get 30% off any item from the Greenleaf Music Online Store. That includes CD’sLP’sSheet Music… you get the idea. Just enter coupon code “bigsale” at checkout. Sale ends December 2nd!

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Join us. Support the Artists and Access the Music

Posted by: Dave Douglas on February 18, 2014 @ 4:33 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas, Donny McCaslin, Greenleaf (News), Matt Ulery, Rudy Royston, Subscriptions

Dear Friends,

As you probably know, Greenleaf Music has offered a subscription plan for several years. What you may not know is how much unreleased music is available with your subscription!

I want to let you know that we are reviving the track-a-month additions to our Subscription Series. January featured the Dave Douglas Quintet playing “Garden State” live in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. February features an extra track from Rudy Royston’s fantastic new CD, 303, called “Big Money.” The rest of this year will see extra tracks from Linda Oh, Donny McCaslin, Matt Ulery, and additional tracks from yours truly, Dave Douglas.

Additionally, I selected an album length collection of exciting Dave Douglas Quintet recordings from Fall 2013. This collection features songs from the albums Be StillTime Travel and Pathways. It also features–aside from quintet members Jon Irabagon, Matt Mitchell, Linda Oh, and Rudy Royston–special cameo appearances from pianists Bobby Avey and Luis Perdomo.

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This new Dave Douglas Quintet Live Fall 2013 album will automatically become part of the Subscription Series. If you’re already a Level 2 or Level 3 subscriber, you know how to find it. Enjoy! And if you want to take advantage of all of this special music, please consider joining those who have access.

Subscriptions also include: special updates about Greenleaf Music activities, discounts at the store, the use of our proprietary Cloud Player to stream our entire catalog, as well as the potential for free tickets and backstage visits with the artists. Visit our subscriptions page to find out more.

Please consider joining us and hearing all this music. We appreciate the support.

Dave

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Casting for Gravity

Posted by: admin on October 2, 2012 @ 6:04 pm
Filed under: CD/FLAC/MP3, Donny McCaslin, Sheet Music, store

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“…a courageous, powerful musical statement.”
-Huffington Post

“tightly composed, genre-splintered, synth-fueled mayhem” -TimeOut New York

Acclaimed saxophonist Donny McCaslin takes a bold leap forward with his tenth album as a leader, Casting for Gravity. McCaslin’s gargantuan tenor sound finds an ideal setting to rampage through in the ferocious grooves and electronic textures of keyboardist Jason Lindner, bassist Tim Lefebvre, and drummer Mark Guiliana. Couching his trademark gift for brawny melodies in lurching dub rhythms, swirling electronica-inspired atmospheres, and arena-rock power, McCaslin has crafted a game-changer of an album, fusing a wealth of forward-looking influences into one wholly new modern jazz sound.

Casting for Gravity follows on the heels of 2011’s highly acclaimed Perpetual Motion, which found McCaslin experimenting for the first time with merging his hard-charging acoustic sound with more funk-inflected electrified elements. But where that album was a blistering electro-acoustic hybrid, Casting for Gravity soars past fusion into alchemy, forging a visionary voice from eclectic influences.

“I wanted to make a bigger record with more sonic layers,” McCaslin explains. “I wanted to go a lot deeper into the electronic realm and push myself harder.”

McCaslin’s initial forays into plugged-in territory were a reflection of his upbringing in Santa Cruz, California, where he was weaned on the deep, deep grooves of Tower of Power and Headhunters bassist Paul Jackson. Those influences remain in the percolating rhythms of “Bend” or the enormous musculature of “Stadium Jazz,” inevitable how deeply ingrained they are into McCaslin’s approach. But he wasted little time casting back into the past for inspiration on this outing, looking instead to ground-breaking contemporary artists.

Chief among them is Aphex Twin, the pseudonym of highly influential British electronica musician Richard D. James. “Aphex Twin really affected the way I wrote for this album,” McCaslin says. “I was attracted to the way he uses really simple melodic ideas with all the activity happening in the drum programming. He’s got a palette of ambient sound, there’s a textural backdrop, the melodic elements are sparse and the beat is really intense. I wanted to try to write some stuff coming from that feeling.”

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Perpetual Motion

Posted by: admin on January 25, 2011 @ 10:10 am
Filed under: CD/FLAC/MP3, Donny McCaslin, Releases, Sheet Music, store, tues-2011-sale

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Sheet Music for Perpetual Motion is available for download here and at the Donny McCaslin App

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Following the sparse tenor trio album Recommended Tools (Greenleaf, 2008), Perpetual Motion is a 180° turn for McCaslin. Never sounding more confident, McCaslin delves into angular post-bop, blistering polyphonic funk, backbeat-driven R&B, and delicate, ethereal balladry, all without compromising his distinct compositional voice.

Electronic elements are well-represented here: Adam Benjamin (Kneebody, Dave Douglas’ Keystone) conjures the Rings of Saturn with his highly modulated Fender Rhodes, bassist Tim Lefebvre punches sub-octave squarewave fuzz, and producer David Binney contributes his own synth sonics occasionally. All of this on a bed of deep drum grooves—that duty split between the masterful Antonio Sanchez and Mark Guiliana. Guest musician Uri Caine makes appearances as well, contributing his unique Fender Rhodes and piano playing to the tracks including the emphatic record closer.


Subscriber Bonus: What Is This Thing Called Love?

Recorded by WBGO backstage at the 2009 Montreal Jazz Festival, this Cole Porter classic is played by Donny McCaslin solo tenor saxophone. And it rips!

This content is for members only.

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Declaration

Posted by: admin on August 11, 2009 @ 4:44 pm
Filed under: Donny McCaslin, Sheet Music, store, tues-2011-sale


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Seven digital PDF charts for saxophone, brass ensemble, and band from Donny McCaslin’s album Declaration.

Compositions included: M, Fat Cat, Declaration, Uppercut, Rock Me, 2nd Hour, Late Night Gospel

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Recommended Tools

Posted by: admin on August 19, 2008 @ 10:10 am
Filed under: CD/FLAC/MP3, Dave Douglas Quintet, Donny McCaslin, Sheet Music, store, tues-2011-sale

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Sheet Music for Recommended Tools is available for download here and at the Donny McCaslin App

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Recommended Tools is the 7th release from 2008 Downbeat Rising Star Poll winner Donny McCaslin. It is also his first for Dave Douglas’ Greenleaf Music label. McCaslin has been performing with Douglas’ highly publicized Quintet since 2005, as well as receiving a Grammy nomination for his work with the Maria Schneider Orchestra in 2004. His latest release, Recommended Tools finds McCaslin for the first time working in a trio setting. With bassist Hans Glawischnig (Ray Barretto, Stefon Harris, Miguel Zenon) and drummer Johnathan Blake (Tom Harrell, Jaleel Shaw, Russell Malone), McCaslin has made this highly emotive format a vehicle for his virtuosic blowing and distinct compositional voice. Trenched in free-flowing arrangements with dynamic interplay between the band, this work harkens back to the classic trio recordings of Sonny Rollins and Joe Henderson. And while a classic format, McCaslin retains his progressive approach and inventiveness citing Bill Frisell, Hermeto Pascoal, Stravinsky and Messiaen as inspiration for these compositions.


Subscriber Bonus: Recommended Tools (Alt Take)

An alternate take of the title track from Donny McCaslin’s Recommended Tools.

This content is for members only.

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