Duke Ellington’s America

Posted by: Dave Douglas on January 11, 2011 @ 9:43 am
Filed under: Dave Douglas (Artist Thoughts), Music

Isfahan – Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges with Ellington’s band in 1965.

I just finished reading Duke Ellington’s America by Harvey G. Cohen and aside from simply enjoying the story and the context of Ellington’s life, it enriched my love of the music and deepened my awareness of some periods of his work I did not know as well. I recommend it.

I’m still partial to the 60s. The above clip from The Far East Suite shows (unintentionally?) the fraught fifty year relationship between these two masters. And yet the beauty of the performance supersedes any questions as to why Ellington is holding up the music and why Hodges doesn’t seem to want to look at it.

All that harmony! And yet it’s often just single lines or diads — no one is playing the piano. We’ll never know how much or which parts of this music Billy Strayhorn wrote. At least according to Cohen it was a relationship that neither of the collaborators ever discussed with anyone. Does it matter?

20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and even into the 70s with the Sacred Concerts. In a way Ellington offered one of the more radical, and yet most enduring, views of America.


RE: The LA Band at the Bowl.

Posted by: admin on July 30, 2010 @ 7:59 am
Filed under: A Single Sky, Dave Douglas (News)

Posted at the LA Times…

In a rumpled shirt and straw hat fit for a Brooklyn block party, downtown New York trumpeter Dave Douglas showed a different side to his always eclectic tastes, leading his band through fluid, expansive selections from “A Single Sky,” an album released last year that was Douglas’ first big band recording.

Arranged by keyboardist [Jim] McNeely, Douglas’ lyrical set departed from the usual big band sound with energetic flashes of Latin jazz and funk, gaining strength as it slowed to an atmospheric purr for the evocative “The Persistence of Memory.” With the bandstand bathed in red light, Douglas and crew took the Bowl to a dark, noirish place highlighted by a giggling, gurgling trombone solo by Ed Neumeister, whose deft work with a mute had his horn occasionally resembling Peter Frampton’s talk box.

Full article

Frampton, eh? Man, wish I could have been there.


A Single Sky @ RUM

Posted by: admin on May 5, 2010 @ 8:45 am
Filed under: A Single Sky, Dave Douglas (News), Listening

Check out the stream posted at the Portuguese Radio Universitaria do Minho site of Dave’s bigband album, A Single Sky with Jim McNeely and Frankfurt Radio Bigband.


Dave Douglas Big Band at Hollywood Bowl

Posted by: admin on January 29, 2010 @ 9:37 am
Filed under: A Single Sky, Dave Douglas (News), Events
Hollywood Bowl

We are very excited to announce that Dave’s big band will be playing this years Hollywood Bowl on July 28 performing music from A Single Sky and Dave’s big band work Delighted States with very special guest Jim McNeely.

Click here to listen to A Single Sky.
Click here for the full scores to all 7 tunes.

The night is a triple bill with Dave Holland Big Band and Count Basie Orchestra. Tickets and subscription packages for the Hollywood Bowl are available now.

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A Single Sky Sheet Music Update

Posted by: admin on October 27, 2009 @ 11:37 am
Filed under: A Single Sky, Dave Douglas (News)

Release day is always one for news and updates.

This morning we updated the digital sheet music piece of the A Single Sky release with the four Jim McNeely arrangements. These charts are meticulously put together as you may expect, as are the three DD charts we originally posted. They’re all up now at our store and ready for your eyes.

For those who ordered the CD + Sheet Music bundle, we sent an email to you this morning. I’ve heard back from most, but not all. If you are one who ordered and did not receive and email from us regarding this update, email the help@ address and we’ll take care of you pronto.

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FLAC: What it is. Why you want it. How to use it.

Posted by: admin on October 9, 2009 @ 10:10 am
Filed under: Listening, Music, Music Technology

We want you to know about FLAC files because it’s a relatively new way of downloading excellent sounding music. Sounds better than MP3, sounds as good as a CD, uses no packaging or shipping products, has all the artwork embedded. Greenleaf Music’s owner, Dave Douglas, went through this process reluctantly and came out the other side a convinced FLAC user. Now you can, too!

Downloading a Greenleaf FLAC is the same as downloading an MP3, they’re just larger files because they are uncompressed and therefore sound better. After downloading the FLAC track, here are a couple options of how to get going:

If you use iTunes, the only way to play FLACs is by using Fluke. It’s a free software available here. Right-clicking on the FLAC file and choosing Open With > Fluke will import the FLAC into your iTunes where you can then play it with no problem.

You can also convert the FLAC file using a program called Max. WAVs and AIFs are the formats used to press CDs and are supported in iTunes without any software add-on. Simply select what format you’d like to convert to in the Max > Preferences > Formats window. Then drag the file(s) into the Max window and click Convert. Those files can be added directly to your iTunes or burned to a CD that will match the sound quality of a CD you’d receive from us. (Update: Using a PC? Check out dBpoweramp for converting)

For folks not tied to iTunes, you can use a number of FLAC players out there. We recommend the recently discovered Songbird (thanks to Gary, one of our new subscribers). Songbird looks and feels like iTunes, so it’s easy to get set up.

Internet speeds are getting faster, and hard drive space is getting larger and cheaper with every second. Lossless files like FLACs are here to stay and great for folks like me who are not audiophiles but enjoy listening to quality music in the best way they can. These suggestions and directions are a good place to start. And I’ll be around to answer any questions you have as best I can.

Everyone has their own method for organizing their digital files — feel free to pass on yours in the Comments Section.


A Single Sky Preorder Launched

Posted by: admin on September 30, 2009 @ 9:44 am
Filed under: A Single Sky, Dave Douglas (News), Music
A Single Sky Cover

Click on the Terry Winters cover art above to get to the A Single Sky album page at our store where you can get more information on the project, stream the record in full, watch videos, sample sheet music, and read the full liner notes by Darcy James Argue.

Preorders will ship nearer to release day (October 27th).

Sheet music orders will include the three Douglas arrangements to start. Expect an update with the four McNeely arrangements before the aforementioned release day.



A Single Sky

Posted by: admin 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.