bonus track to Community Immunity

Posted by: admin on May 8, 2011 @ 12:58 pm
Filed under: Curtis Macdonald (news)

Just posted on is a bonus track to Community Immunity.

It’s called “Eye In the Sky”.


Curtis Macdonald – Alto Sax

Jeremy Viner – Tenor Sax

Michal Vaňouček – Piano

Chris Tordini – Bass

Greg Ritchie – Drums

No Comments

sampling the harpsichord

Posted by: admin on April 14, 2011 @ 9:54 am
Filed under: Curtis Macdonald (news), Music Technology

Image of the Harpsichord Mechanism

Often the music left on the cutting room floor can become the seeds for future projects.  A lot of time was spent searching for exotic sounds while in the process of making Community Immunity. Over the course of several months I recorded and sampled vintage electronic instruments, toy pianos, water sounds, ambiances and extended techniques, and developed a unique palette of rare instrumentation.  Even though most of these sounds did not end up on the final recording, it was not time wasted.  Going through a soundexploration process has equipped me with the tools and resources to add fresh, acoustic sonic signatures to future recordings.  It is very rewarding to hear a unique timbre on a record, especially if it’s created by the composer and adopted as part of the band’s sound.

Click Here to listen to the scratch edits of the title track, Community Immunity as played on the harpsichord.  The harpsichord is a very diverse instrument; many have multiple keyboards and “manuals” which drastically and emphatically morph its sound.  At the link above, two versions are shown each with different timbres.  I definitely will be remembering this sound for the future…

No Comments

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.