Greenleaf Artists Sound Off: Year End Observations & Music Thoughts

Year end thoughts from Dave Douglas, Grammy nominee Donny McCaslin, Michael Bates, Linda Oh, Kneebody, Matt Ulery

davedouglas

Dave Douglas

Henry Brant would be 100! After co-producing his 52 trumpet piece with Festival of New Trumpet Music, I discovered his book called “Textures and Timbres: An Orchestrator’s Handbook.” It is extraordinary, a great insight into what made that music so powerful. I will spend another 50 years trying to digest it. It’s still in print, and worth looking up.

Wayne Shorter turned 80. John Zorn turned 60. I turned 50. Joe Lovano and I were honored to have a small role in the Wayne Shorter events, playing with our quintet, Sound Prints, with Lawrence Fields, Linda Oh, and Joey Baron, at several celebrations. The Zorn at 60 marathons were some of the most inspiring days of music I have ever seen; definitely like playing on an all-star team. And traveling with my own quintet, with Jon Irabagon, Matt Mitchell, Linda Oh, and Rudy Royston, has been one of the most challenging and fulfilling musical experiences of my life. It is a profound pleasure developing the music with these good people. We still have about 15 states to go and I look forward to working on that! Stay warm and we will hope to see you in Hawaii in the cold season.

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Like:
Miguel Zenon, Oye, Live in Puerto Rico
Jonathan Finlayson & Sicilian Defense, Moment & The Message
Mauro Ottolini Sousaphonix, Bix Factor

(more…)

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Pierre Boulez

Posted by: Michael Bates on January 12, 2010 @ 10:02 am
Filed under: Michael Bates (Artist Thoughts)

The New York Times published an insightful article about Pierre Boulez, a great exponent of European modernism, that has some interesting commentary from Mr. Boulez as well a few others.  Click here for a link.

“Performers aren’t audacious enough today.  They think audiences won’t respond to what’s unfamiliar. But to provoke — in the good sense — is the performer’s role. It’s not just to give one more concert.”–Pierre Boulez

update: Since we’re quoting the Times, this extraordinary piece on Winter Jazz Fest was nice to see. A great photo of trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire as well. dd.

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Brass Diplomacy?

Posted by: Michael Bates on October 26, 2009 @ 10:29 am
Filed under: Michael Bates (Artist Thoughts)
Brass Diplomacy

I performed recently in Guangzhou, China and saw this on street signs everywhere.  Not sure why, but it appears that a lot of people there seem to have something against trumpet players. 😉 Still, we just wanted to let everyone know that the band did everything within our somewhat limited diplomatic powers to remedy the situation.   As far as I could tell it worked because everyone in the audience seemed to dig the brass…

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Congrats Dave…

Posted by: Michael Bates on September 13, 2009 @ 7:45 pm
Filed under: Michael Bates (Artist Thoughts), Uncategorized

Just because I know he won’t, I wanted to mention that Dave D finished a Toughman triathalon today.  We’re talking a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run all in a row….and he shattered his time goal by over thirty minutes!   To give you an idea of how long something like this takes: I got up this morning around the same time he started, had a leisurely breakfast, ran 8 miles, practiced for 2 hours, drove 1.5 hours to the finish and still had time to find a good spot to cheer him on.  Now, if I can just figure out just how he managed to train for this in between Brass Ecstasy tours, organizing the next wave of the FONT festival, writing, practicing and planning for whatever is next, I think I’d be in good shape..literally!  Kudos Dave….

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Sightreading

Posted by: Michael Bates on September 7, 2009 @ 12:47 pm
Filed under: Michael Bates (Artist Thoughts)

Guitarist Matt Stevens just let me know about this ultra nerdy website called practicesightreading.com.  It’s a good one.  You can enter in different levels of mixed meters, compound meters, odd meters and then generate up to 99 bars of musical mayhem to apply to your daily practice routine…. here’s an example of one I came up with.  Have fun…

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George Russell R.I.P.

Posted by: Michael Bates on July 30, 2009 @ 7:17 am
Filed under: Michael Bates (Artist Thoughts)

George Russell, composer and author of the “Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization for Improvisation” died on Monday at the age of 86.   Here’s a link to Orrin Keepnews talking about George’s music.  Click Here

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Butch Morris' Conduction

Posted by: Michael Bates on July 27, 2009 @ 7:08 pm
Filed under: Michael Bates (Artist Thoughts)

Tomorrow (Tuesday, July 28) night at 8pm I have the great pleasure of performing with Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris at the Stone in New York.  It’s along with some great string players including violinist Cornelius Duffalo from the string quartet “Ethel” and cellists Okkyung Lee and Alex Waterman among others.  After an intense rehearsal today I’m very excited to be sharing the stage with these other musicians, most of whom are on the forefront of New York’s new music scene.  It’s going to be fun.

If you don’t know his work, Butch Morris employs a technique called “conduction” which is a process in which musicians read signals and improvise on the material that derives from it.  Butch uses the hand signals to generate the basic musical germs, then shapes the material into larger structures and he often includes his own written music too. In addition to being an act of spontaneous compositional virtuosity, his work is a testament to individual creativity in a group setting..not to mention requires a lot of focus…after three hours of it today, I am pretty exhausted.

If you’d like to read more about Butch and his music, click here…..

– Michael

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Butch Morris’ Conduction

Posted by: admin on @ 7:08 pm
Filed under: Michael Bates (Artist Thoughts)

Tomorrow (Tuesday, July 28) night at 8pm I have the great pleasure of performing with Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris at the Stone in New York.  It’s along with some great string players including violinist Cornelius Duffalo from the string quartet “Ethel” and cellists Okkyung Lee and Alex Waterman among others.  After an intense rehearsal today I’m very excited to be sharing the stage with these other musicians, most of whom are on the forefront of New York’s new music scene.  It’s going to be fun.

If you don’t know his work, Butch Morris employs a technique called “conduction” which is a process in which musicians read signals and improvise on the material that derives from it.  Butch uses the hand signals to generate the basic musical germs, then shapes the material into larger structures and he often includes his own written music too. In addition to being an act of spontaneous compositional virtuosity, his work is a testament to individual creativity in a group setting..not to mention requires a lot of focus…after three hours of it today, I am pretty exhausted.

If you’d like to read more about Butch and his music, click here…..

– Michael

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Tim Berne Talks….

Posted by: Michael Bates on June 28, 2009 @ 7:15 am
Filed under: Michael Bates (Artist Thoughts)

In wandering around in cyberspace, I came across this great interview with Tim Berne at Ethan Iverson’s blog.  It’s incredibly candid and delves into several stories that relate to his artistic process.   Tim’s story about how he started playing the saxophone and started his first band is great too…..

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Musicians Preferred; Loud Music O.K.

Posted by: Michael Bates on May 5, 2009 @ 8:38 am
Filed under: Michael Bates (Artist Thoughts)

Here’s a great little article about some neighbours of mine….

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