Dave Douglas Quintet “Time Travel” on NY Times Best Of 2013 List

Posted by: admin on December 16, 2013 @ 10:22 am
Filed under: Dave Douglas (Updates), Listening, Press


A Mix of Sounds, Generations and Styles

Craig Taborn, Wayne Shorter and Bill Callahan Achieve

By Nate Chinen

6. Dave Douglas Quintet “Time Travel” (Greenleaf) The trumpeter Dave Douglas formed a smart new quintet last year, and along with a beautiful album of hymns, it created this knockabout winner, capitalizing on the diversity of a roster with the saxophonist Jon Irabagon, the pianist Matt Mitchell, the bassist Linda Oh and the drummer Rudy Royston.

Read the full feature

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Before & After with Dave Douglas: ln praise of Woody, Wynton and more (via Jazz Times)

Posted by: admin on November 7, 2013 @ 10:41 am
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Press

Dave Douglas sat down with Ashley Kahn / Jazz Times for a Q&A, and blindfold test. Read the full article at JazzTimes.

Dave Douglas by Stefan CramerIn the cool, blustery summer weather that is typical of Finland’s Satakunta province, Dave Douglas’ quintet—Douglas on trumpet, tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon, pianist Matt Mitchell, bassist Linda Oh and drummer Rudy Royston, with vocalist Heather Masse—played a well-received set at the 2013 Pori Jazz festival in July. The music alternated between a loose-limbed intensity and measured melancholy—the latter in particular on the church melodies taken from Douglas’ 2012 album Be Still (Greenleaf). One of those happy, unplanned musical connections took place when the group performed the title track, sparking a rousing response from the outdoor crowd.

“I got so many questions from people here in Finland about why I played it,” Douglas, 50, explained after the set. “When my mother was very ill she gave me a list of hymns that she wanted me to play at her memorial service, and one of them was ‘Be Still, My Soul.’ It was one of her favorites, played in Protestant churches with English lyrics and a melody composed by [Finnish composer] Jean Sibelius. I don’t think she knew the melody is also called ‘Finlandia,’ but we began to play it and I quickly learned that it’s the national anthem here, more or less. It was a real honor to play it in Finland.”

This Before & After took place in Pori’s Satakunnan Museo immediately after Douglas’ performance and was attended by a variety of local music fans.

Find out how Dave did in the blindfold test.

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Release day for Matt Ulery’s #WakeAnEcho, New tracks streaming

Posted by: admin on July 16, 2013 @ 11:41 am
Filed under: Press, Releases, Video

“This is music of brisk intelligence and an almost off-putting abundance of composure… with frictionless access to great chunks of classical postminimalism, atmospheric indie-rock and harmonically astute post-bop.”
-NY Times http://bit.ly/18SC4or


“…an abundantly atmospheric work built on exotic scales, muted instrumental colors and darkly moody expression… revels in unhurried but circuitous melody lines & lush instrumental colors.”
-Chicago Tribune http://bit.ly/13V86Ow


“…fiery improvisational chops with a measured cool that complements the cinematic, thoroughly composed elements in Ulery’s music. Ulery is already making music unlike anyone else.”
-Chicago Reader http://bit.ly/12muJoF


Wake An Echo brims with gorgeous melodies and voluptuous arrangements. Ulery has placed his almost other-worldly compositions into another perfect setting; it hints at a larger orchestra while maintaining a more intimate transparency.”
-ChicagoMusic.org http://bit.ly/136m8ek

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Dave Douglas: There’s Wisdom Everywhere in the Universe (via AllAboutJazz)

Posted by: admin on June 18, 2013 @ 1:38 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (Artist Thoughts), Dave Douglas (News), Press

Along with a thoughtful synopsis of Dave’s last year — the two album releases Be Still and Time Travel, the 50 States tour, plus all the other projects he has going — AllAboutJazz published a lengthy and interesting interview with AAJ’s Dave Wayne titled “There’s Wisdom Everywhere in the Universe.”

Below is in excerpt from the conversation, this piece revolving around Be Still. So much more good stuff over there. We encourage you to read it in full.

Published: June 17, 2013 by DAVE WAYNE


AAJ: Be Still is so directly emotional, but the really beautiful thing about that record was that every one of the players—Aoife especially—was able to be totally themselves even though the music seemed to exist between two separate worlds that don’t usually intersect. But you got into something really profound there…

DD: It’s not a pose that we’re playing these hymns. We’re not proselytizing for a religion, but we’re not avoiding the spiritual content of the music. We’re not taking an ironic stance, either. Like I said before, we’re not posing with this music. The verses that we sang, and some of the verses that Aoife adapted, were all chosen by my mom. That’s what she wanted us to play at her service. She chose them. And they’re all these universal spiritual tunes that are very uplifting. People have come up to me to tell me that this record got them through some difficult times.

The other thing that people say is “I’m so sorry about your mom.” And that’s nice, but it’s not that sort of album either. It’s not elegiac or sorrowful at all. It’s uplifting. The message that my mom came to, in the end, was “Now I’m moving on to a different place, and I’ll see you there.” It was not “I am going to miss you so much.” It was more along the lines of “This is great, let’s have a celebration, just like we did when you were born.” And that’s reflected in the songs she chose for us to play. It was very, very powerful. And I definitely shed some tears during the making of this record, but they weren’t tears of sorrow… they were tears of joy.

AAJ: Well that was quite palpable in the music. I’ve got to thank you for making that record.

DD: Well, thank you. I’m very proud of it. And now it’s being issued as an LP on heavyweight vinyl, and it sounds incredibly gorgeous. The whole package is really beautiful, with the artwork and all. I see Time Travel as a companion piece. It’s the same musicians, but we’re playing original music and taking it in different directions.

There’s one more thing I’d like to mention about Aoife. You’ll notice that a lot of the contexts in which she has to sing are quite harmonically challenging and rich. And some of her entrances are really, really difficult. You really have to know what’s going on to come in with a vocal entrance on a very interesting note [laughs] in the middle of a musical phrase with Matt Mitchell improvising all these wild harmonies all around you. She really hung with us on the highest musical level. It wasn’t like we were bringing a “singer” into the band. It was like having another musician in the band. And we’ve done a bunch of live shows with her and she’s constantly operating at the highest musical level.

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Dave Douglas: Jazz Hymns Honor A Dying Wish | via NPR

Posted by: admin on December 16, 2012 @ 10:06 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Press

via NPR:
Dave Douglas has been an important player in the jazz world for more than two decades, producing a broad body of work as both a trumpet player and a composer. His newest album, Be Still, has a bittersweet backstory: It contains his arrangements of several hymns that his dying mother asked him to perform at her funeral service.

“She was towards the end of a long struggle against ovarian cancer, and we had the time to have those conversations that I feel so lucky to have had now that she’s gone,” Douglas says. “As anyone who’s lost a parent recently knows, that’s the best feeling — that you really had this communication, and you really shared what was there to share up until the end.”

To make Be Still, Douglas enlisted a new quintet and, for the first time in his career, a vocalist. Here, he discusses the making of the record with NPR’s Rachel Martin; click the audio link on this page to hear more.

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Matt Ulery’s By A Little Light in NPR’s Best Music of 2012

Posted by: admin on December 5, 2012 @ 5:02 pm
Filed under: Press


“There are lots of pleasant records where jazz bands meet string sections. This one’s beautiful.” —Patrick Jarenwattananon, NPR Music

View NPR Music’s Top 50 Albums of 2012
View NPR Music’s Top 10 Jazz Albums of 2012

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The Many Voices…

Posted by: admin on November 20, 2012 @ 4:07 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Donny McCaslin (News), Greenleaf (News), Greenleaf Portable Series (GPS), Press

Will Layman has written a fantastic article called The Many Voices of Trumpeter and Composer Dave Douglas at PopMatters. Dave’s latest album Be Still is represented, but also some kind words about other label releases from Donny McCaslin and Linda Oh and how they fit into the “big tent” that is the musical world of DD.

The Many Voices of Trumpeter and Composer Dave Douglas

By Will Layman

The most moving music of 2012 for me has surely been the collection Be Still, by trumpeter Dave Douglas. A serene and shimmering marriage between jazz and devotional hymns, Be Still was inspired by the death of Douglas’s mother—and it extinguished any notion that jazz is all cerebellum and no heart.

That this great work should come from Douglas in 2012 is hardly a surprise. Douglas has been a critical voice—and recently a critical mentor to younger players—in jazz for 20 years. And that it should mean that much to me is also not surprise. Douglas and I grew up in the place and time as I did, and—as he reflects the loss of his parents in his music—has many of my own concerns in his heart.

His music is personal. Putting aside Be Still, that may seem odd, as he is mainly a voice in today’s post-modern jazz, a realm of much abstraction not usually given to autobiography or confession. But Douglas’s work is personal because its incredible range and diversity, taken as a whole, is a portrait of a brilliant and complete man.

The last year shows this with perfect clarity. You can forget the broad swath of his work from previous years: his music for silent movie soundtracks, his use of turntables and electronics, his immersion in Balkan music and his album of Joni Mitchell covers. Douglas’s released music in the last 12 months is enough to suggest that he is the most interesting and heartfelt jazz musician in recent times.


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Be Still review in Stereophile

Posted by: admin on October 9, 2012 @ 3:18 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Press

Some very kind words from Fred Kaplan at Stereophile.

Dave Douglas’ Be Still (on the trumpeter’s own Greenleaf Music label) is his most sheer-gorgeous album since the 1998 Charms of the Night Sky and one of the best-sounding new recordings that I’ve heard by anybody in quite a while. And it’s available on LP as well as CD.

And, a brief bit about the vinyl we pressed.

The LP was mastered by Mark Wilder from the 24/96 files (as was the CD) and cut on 180gm vinyl, via Direct Metal Mastering, at Pirate’s Press in San Francisco (though my colleague Michael Fremer says Pirate’s Press is a forwarding house and that the work was probably done by GZ in the Czech Republic, which also did the Decca/Abkco Stones box). The vinyl pressing is very quiet and slightly better than the CD: you hear a bit more of the fingerwork on the bass, there’s more air surrounding the horns, a little extra sizzle on the drums. But in either medium, this is a splendid album in every way.

Read the full review here.

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Casting for Gravity: Donny McCaslin’s Adventure Into Electronica via HuffPost

Posted by: admin on September 25, 2012 @ 5:50 pm
Filed under: Donny McCaslin (News), Press

Read the full article ›››

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Summer Listening: Matt Ulery’s “By A Little Light” Reviewed

Posted by: admin on June 20, 2012 @ 4:35 pm
Filed under: Press

Press is rolling in for Matt Ulery’s latest album, By A Little Light which released yesterday. Many thanks to Howard Reich at the Chicago Tribune for his kind words.

“This magical, profoundly musical release embraces more aesthetic influences than one might have thought a cohesive recording could. …the originality and purling beauty of this release cannot be overstated.”

Another thoughtful review at Bird Is The Worm.

“Nothing about this music is small. Even the nuances possess a weight that belies their brief moments in the spotlight. Piano is given lots of room to roam and explore, while drums stamp it on the map. When not gingerly tiptoeing through the scene, strings make dreamy pronouncements, while vibes and trumpet shade the edges.”

At eMusic, Dave Sumner weighs in and gives By A Little Light the PICK OF THE WEEK status.

“a masterpiece of grand vision and soaring compositions. Built around two separate piano trios, Ulery adds violinist Zach Brock, vocalist Grazyna Auguscik, and members of the Eighth Blackbird ensemble for a spectacular set of music. Pick of the Week.”

And to top all that off, By A Little Light received 4 1/2 stars in the July issue of Downbeat.

“Two beautiful, emotional works…There are no cheap musical tricks or shortcuts here; “By A Little Light”… are fully formed pieces that embrace a range of musical styles.”

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