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Dave Douglas - Riverside


Head Man
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Douglas is another of those players who made a bad first impression on me, and that I should go back and listen to again. It also didn't help that he's the most self-important musician I ever met; you get the sense he's always looking at himself in the mirror.

Edited by AllenLowe
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Douglas is another of those players who made a bad first impression on me, and that I should go back and listen to again. It also didn't help that he's the most self-important musician I ever met; you get the sense he's always looking at himself in the mirror.

I don't know him but the couple of times I've seen him live he didn't come over like that. I really enjoy his playing and there's no two of his releases the same.

Also, he must be a decent businessman because he has all his recent releases available as CDs or lossless downloads from his own website, Greenleaf Music. That must be the way forward for musicians in the future.

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I have not witnessed what you have experienced, Allen. Of course, I do not get to actually meet and get to know musicians the way that you do.

Recently Dave Douglas was the resident artist and spent a weekend in Lawrence, Kansas, at a high school and college student festival with many workshops. He then performed as bandleader and soloist with the University of Kansas big band ensemble in concert. Obviously I was not present during his private work with the students, but several people spoke from the stage about how gracious, generous and nice he had been to everyone during his stay. He was humorous in his remarks between songs, in an understated way.The students seemed to be happy with him, and visibly, positively responsive to him during the performances.

He also appeared at the very small Blue Room in Kansas City, connected to the jazz museum, where the musicians are literally elbow to elbow with the customers between sets, and are a few feet from the audience during the sets. I saw and heard no negative behavior from him in several hours that evening.

I have witnessed him play some genuinely interesting and exciting trumpet solos in concert, and his compositions have often been memorable and appealing in concert.

For example, he appeared with the San Francisco Jazz Collective, the all-star group, and his trumpet solos were the highlight of the evening for me, on a level of excitement higher than the efforts by the other big names. To me, he blew the roof off the place during his solos.

So if he is self-important, as you say Allen, he must put on a different persona when he is around the public. That is certainly possible.

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His approach doesn't mirror that of my favorite trumpeters (all of whom have a tone that comes more out of Clifford Brown, i.e. Morgan, Shaw, Tolliver, Hubbard (mostly), and others). So, I haven't been as drawn to Douglas' approach as some others -- but I still have 6-8 CD's of his (and probably another half-dozen I've owned, and since traded), and I've mostly like what I've heard.

Have met and talked with him two or three times -- back in Lawrence KS some 16 years ago, and a lot more recently at the Blue Room in Kansas City (maybe twice). He was always very cordial, and seemed like a very easy-going cat.

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Never detected any noticeable arrogance when I've seen him or read interviews with him.

I think he might have suffered over the years from the sheer volume of output and the range of his activities. Ten years ago I was buying up everything he released (including that downloadable 12 CDs worth of complete performances from the Jazz Standard engagement which proved that I don't need 12 CDs of anyone's live engagement in one week!) but recently they got too thick and fast. The folky thing he did a while back never engaged me.

I know many people prefer his earlier more avant approach. I loved the Charms of the Night Sky group and, especially, those bands he put together investigating the sound world of the electric jazz of the late 60s/early 70s. Always love a Fender Rhodes.

Must go on a field trip through my recordings. I have a particular liking for this live set:

P01_500x500-300x300.jpg

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Lark, I had a similar experience to yours in regards to his music. I was buying his stuff pretty regularly up to the Jazz Standard 2 CD set, but I feel that his records became less interesting over time. (I laughed when I read your comment about not needing 12 CDs of anyone, but if they came out with a 50 CD Anthony Braxton set tomorrow - which they might! - I'd be all over it). And Douglas does release a lot of stuff on his own label, more than I care to keep up with.

Edited by CraigP
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  • 4 years later...

I'm looking into purchasing a subscription to Greenleaf Music. For $50 I can have access to all 65 of the label's releases which I can download in a variety of formats. I'm wondering if anyone else has, or is, a subscriber to the series. The $100/$150 levels involve physical product being available but I'm not sure that the other perks are a sufficient enticement.

Thoughts?

Subscription Link

Edited by greggery peccary
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I am a subscriber and find it worthwhile as well. I did the middle tier. You get instant access to all new releases on the Greenleaf label, which is quite active.

Obviously I like Douglas' his music and the music of his frequent collaborators like Matt UIery, Rudy Royston, Linda Oh, and Donny McCaslin.

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