“This ravenously adventurous trumpeter and composer is no stranger to electronica. With High Risk, alongside the drummer Mark Guiliana, the bassist Jonathan Maron, and the beats master Shigeto, Douglas fearlessly follows his muse farther down the rabbit hole, to a place where jazz improvisation collides with contemporary sonics.”
-Steve Futterman, The New Yorker
“Mr. Douglas, the trumpeter and composer, renewed his smartly probing engagement with electronic music on “High Risk,” an album featuring Shigeto, a beat-minded producer, along with Jonathan Maron on electric bass and Mark Guiliana on drums. The same coalition just released an engaging sequel, “Dark Territory,” and will perform at Roulette, expanding on its designs with spontaneous interplay.”
-Nate Chinen, The New York Times
Details about the Roulette show can be found here.
Learn more about Dark Territory record here.
You can download the digital music from our store
“Douglas, on trumpet, leads 15 members of the Monash Art Ensemble, comprising four woodwinds, three brass, four strings and four percussion, including electronics. They open with the stately ensemble fanfares of Forbidden Flags, traversing it via Marty Holoubek’s contrabass and Craig Beard’s pitched percussion to Douglas’s triumphantly soaring solo.
Frieze begins with a subdued ensemble passage of Rob Burke’s clarinet, Mirko Guerrini on bass clarinet and Lauchlan Davidson’s soprano sax, gradually evolving atonally into an out-of-tempo high-treble wild spree. Strings come to the fore in rolling, calming sequences for Wagon Wheels, and then as guitar and bass provide a travelling foundation and tempo slides away, pizzicato violin leads into the theme to close.
Unlike most of these tracks, Tower of the Winds commences with a rhythmic beat as clarinet, flute and Jordan Murray’s trombone weave around Douglas’s invigorated trumpet ahead of ensemble marching chord stabs, powered by Kieran Rafferty’s speedy drumming, all dissolving into an extended, improvised piano solo of building intensity by Grabowsky.”
Read the entire review here.
Learn more about the album here.
If you’re in Australia, you can order the album from our wonderful partner label Jazzhead.
A few years ago the trumpeter-composer Dave Douglas released “Be Still,” a beautifully poignant album made in response to the loss of his mother. The album also formally unveiled his new band, a young quintet with the creative resources to hit the ground running. “Brazen Heart,” Mr. Douglas’s assured new release, showcases the same group at a more advanced stage in its evolution, as he again tries to transcend grief with art. (read more at NYTimes)
Looking back over his incredibly prolific 22-year recording career, which has generated close to 40 albums under his leadership, you may find it difficult to remember that trumpeter Dave Douglas was something of a late bloomer. Born in 1963, he was a week away from turning 30 when he went into Sear Sound in midtown Manhattan to record Parallel Worlds, his debut on the Soul Note label. That noted, the New Jersey native was anything but a musical neophyte when he made that recording; he had been honing his sound since he was nine, including almost a decade on New York City’s downtown music scene. (read more at Soundstage Experience)
Taken from Downbeat:
Trumpeter Dave Douglas is one of jazz’s most adventurous minds, leading a stunning array of diverse projects.
In 2015 he’s released two very different CDs: High Risk, a richly textured collaboration with electronica producer Shigeto (aka Zachary Saginaw), and Brazen Heart, the third album by his stellar quintet with saxophonist Jon Irabagon, pianist Matt Mitchell, bassist Linda Oh and drummer Rudy Royston.
That’s in addition to several more accomplishments: celebrating the 10th anniversary of his Greenleaf Music label; hosting a podcast featuring interviews with the likes of Henry Threadgill, John Zorn and Marc Ribot; and directing the annual Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT), which will take place in New York City on Sept. 24–29 and will honor Eddie Henderson.
DownBeat caught up with Douglas via Skype a few days after the quintet performed together for the first time in six months at the Detroit Jazz Festival.
DownBeat: The quintet sounds like it’s really evolved over the last few years.
Dave Douglas: I feel like every time you play it’s an opportunity to grow and find some new areas to play in. With this band in particular, the way everyone plays keeps me on my toes as a composer. It has to do with how you construct the conversation and how people take part in that conversation.
How do you open the door enough for everyone to say what they have to say, and discover and explore what they want to explore, and still have the music retain a shape and have a distinctive voice?
Of course, Miles Davis was the great master of that, but Wayne Shorter is my great guiding star in the music. His views on freedom and his current approach to process in an improvising jazz group are revolutionary in the sense that they throw away a lot of the accepted conventions of the way we normally do things. And that’s an overarching philosophy for him—I think. I don’t want to pretend that I understand Wayne. (read more at downbeat.com)
Take a look at the original here.
DAVE DOUGLAS QUINTET The trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas has released two previous albums (both excellent) with this dynamic quintet, which includes the saxophonist Jon Irabagon, the pianist Matt Mitchell, the drummer Rudy Royston and the bassist Linda Oh. “Brazen Heart” (Oct. 2), dedicated to the memory of Mr. Douglas’s older brother, features nearly a dozen new pieces — like “Lone Wolf,” an intricate wind sprint — tailored to the band’s expressive strengths, which have become clearer and less constrained over several years (and countless miles) on the road. Greenleaf. (N.C.)
Doug Simpson of Audiophile Audition took a deep listen to High Risk and wrote this thoughtful review. Nice to see Steve Wall of Gardentone and Geoff Countryman get their due props here! Check out videos here and here and vinyl LP here.
Dave Douglas – High Risk [TrackList follows] – Greenleaf Music GRE-CD-1042, 40:57 [6/23/15] ****1/2:
(Dave Douglas – trumpet, producer; Jonathan Maron – electric and synth bass; Mark Guiliana – acoustic and electric drums; Shigeto – electronics)
If jazz fans want to keep abreast of the confluence of acoustic jazz and electronics (i.e., electro-acoustic jazz)—the creative nexus where brass, wood, sticks, ivory keys and other acoustic components balance against loops, beats and digital sound—then trumpeter Dave Douglas is one of the artists you should listen to. Douglas is a well-rounded composer, arranger, improviser and performer. One area he continues to find stimulating is the melding of jazz with electronic elements. He’s done some intriguing work related to this sphere on previous releases such as Spark of Being (2010), Moonshine (2008) and Freak In (2003). For his latest outing, the 40-minute High Risk, Douglas formed a new quartet with acoustic and electric drummer Mark Guiliana (Douglas and Guiliana first performed together on a project with saxophonist DonnyMcCaslin); electric and synth bassist Jonathan Maron (founding member of acid-jazz group Groove Collective) and Zachary Saginaw aka Shigeto (an electronic music producer). Maron and Douglas initially crossed paths in the ‘90s and Douglas met Shigeto in 2014 when they shared a stage at a multi-genre musical event. From those connections, High Risk was born. High Risk is not just the magic of four musicians in a studio. Recording engineer Geoff Countryman (who has done board work on other Douglas CDs) meticulously captured the acoustic and electronic portions (Douglas did four months of pre-production to prepare for the one-day session). And mixing engineer Steve Wall was an important contributor, since he did four months of detailed post-production. The result is live improvisation fused with integrated sound manipulation, effects, and other digital/audio realizations.
The seven tracks offer a spontaneous and layered interplay between trumpet, bass, drums and electronics. Everything is part of one expressive experience. The music outwardly modifies and changes, but there is an overall flow and continuity, despite fluctuating constituents. The opener, “Molten Sunset,” commences with Maron’s slowly pulsing bass, Guiliana’s shadowy percussion, and Douglas’ iridescent trumpet. Shigeto’s shimmering electronics traverse as a foundation, with ambient samples, organized sounds and improvised groove. The 7:32 piece has an attribute of mystery amid a fractured funk template. “Molten Sunset” is both edgy and carries a skewed calmness. (read more)
You can’t really talk about trumpeter Dave Douglas’ latest release – the self-titled debut of High Risk – for very long before a couple key points inevitably get raised. Foremost among these talking points is that the quartet from which the album takes its name is really the brainchild of both Dave Douglas and one Zach Saginaw, better known as Shigeto, an Ann Arbor-born experimental electronic music producer and left-field hip-hop drummer. The two met for the first time last year at a Red Bull Music Academy event that paired together musicians for improvisation work, and from there they continued a collaborative relationship.
This isn’t the first time Douglas has worked with an artist outside the traditional realm of jazz – that list includes electronic musicians like Yuka Honda, Ikue Mori, Jamie Saft, and DJ Olive. Still, these artists’ contributions to Douglas’ output almost felt ancillary and not quite integrated into the whole, with their role falling into that of providing sonic color or manipulating existing qualities in the music.
That’s not the case on Douglas’ new collaboration, High Risk, which balances traditional instrumentation with electronic textures. The eponymous quartet – rounded out by drummer Mark Guiliana and bassist Jonathan Maron – operate as a cohesive unit without losing their individuality. You can partially credit this to Douglas’ extensive experience both as a bandleader and as a member of multiple ensembles. But you can also sense a genuine appreciation on Shigeto’s part for jazz performance’s unique hurdles: from dealing with real-time harmonic changes to juggling improvisational flow in a group context.
Over High Risk’s seven tracks, the quartet make reference to a number of seminal fusion jazz icons’ works – from Miles Davis’ and Weather Report’s first electrified recordings to Herbie Hancock’s embrace of funk and electro, from Jon Hassell’s forays into world music to Tortoise and The Sea & Cake’s post-rock flirtations, all the way through to FlyLo’s jazz-inflected electronic odes to his aunt Alice Coltrane – but there’s no mistaking them for anyone else; this sound is singular.
There is a strong chance that many of the people who will pick up High Risk may do so on the basis of one-quarter of the ensemble behind its making. Though that should come as no surprise, especially given jazz’s decline in popularity, albums like this provide hope, as they introduce new listeners to a still-vital genre. Jazz has always played with dance culture, but this is something else. Instead of a rote exercise in electronic experimentation suitable for academia, this is a real feat of musical collaboration that wasn’t made for the conservatory or the club, but rather uncharted territory.
Many exciting developments are happening in the world of contemporary jazz – from Vijay Iyer’s interpretations of popular music to Kamasi Washington’s three-hour opus The Epic – but High Risk is truest to its name. Rather than piggyback on the latest trend to attract fair-weather fans, the album relies on the strengths of its players and their group chemistry to create something new that wows without having to woo. These days, making work like that is the highest risk of all.
Get your copy of High Risk here.
HIGH RISK is officially one week old. We appreciate everyone’s support and are shipping out orders as fast as we can. Buy your copy here. Plenty of folks have great things to say about HIGH RISK the album and live performances alike:
I’ve seen Dave Douglas three times in the last few years in Ottawa, each time at the helm of a different band. But only on Friday night did I see Douglas at the beginning of his show, literally jumping on the spot as the music pulsed, seemingly extra excited to get busy and join in with the sounds around him. read more >>>
Among brand-name contemporary jazz musicians, few have embraced change and experimentation like trumpeter Dave Douglas. For years he seemed to form a new group every few months, each with a particular mission or focus—though lately he’s settled down. On this year’s Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival (Blue Note) he flexes the mainstream chops at his core during an excellent set with tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano and the collective Sound Prints (the recording is the latest in a series celebrating the music of saxophonist Wayne Shorter). His most recent project, however, finds him pushing boundaries again. read more >>>
Play it safe? Dave Douglas wouldn’t dream of it.
Artistically, that is. The 52-year-old New Yorker might well be one of those drivers who never lets his gas drop below a quarter-tank, or a diner who always reserves. But with a trumpet in his hands, and a project in his head, Douglas is definitely a risk-taker.
To start somewhere, let’s take his new band and its debut album, to be released next week. Both are called — what else — High Risk. read more >>>
Dave Douglas is a well-established jazz player who has been an active performer since the mid-’80s and who has recorded with a number of influential ensembles, including John Zorn‘s Masada Quartet and his own Balkan music group, Tiny Bell Trio. Zach Saginaw—who records under his middle name, Shigeto—composes lightly psychedelic instrumental hip-hop and has released a number of records via the label Ghostly International. The pair first met last year, via a Red Bull Music Academy event that paired musicians—Nels Cline, Wadada Leo Smith, Petra Haden, among others—in a series of solo and duet improvisations. And while they aren’t necessarily obvious collaborators, the two hit it off. read more >>>
Nels Cline knows a thing or two. Whether the Wilco guitarist and master improviser had any sort of larger plan in mind when he hooked trumpeter Dave Douglas up with electronic musician Zachary Saginaw is up for debate, but what was initially an impromptu pairing has become a full-blown band—and you can hear that band, High Risk, at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival this weekend. read more >>>
Music via electrodes is nothing new to trumpeter Dave Douglas. He’s blended jazz with electronic music before and the results were about as consistently good as anything else he had recorded. Freak In was especially caustic mix, one that rewarded those who took the plunge and punished those who had not kept up on contemporary jazz (my boss, hearing it come out of my work computer, told me that it wasn’t music). High Risk, Douglas’ collaboration with bassist Jonathan Maron, drummer Mark Guiliana, and electronic musician Shigeto, walks closer to the heels of Douglas’s Keystone project. read more >>>
Rudy’s album entered the SoundScan Current Jazz Chart yesterday and we couldn’t be more excited for him, and the people who are listening. In case you missed it, below is a list of some of the things that are being said about the record. If you don’t already own it, don’t waste any more time. And look for the record to climb even higher in the coming weeks!