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Dave Douglas
biography, CDs and concert review
. Charms of the Night Sky, A Thousand Evenings. Dave Douglas - trumpet; Mark Feldman - violin; Guy Klucevsek - accordion; Greg Cohen - acoustic bass.

Article added in November 2000 by Louis Gerber
 
Biographies and albums
 
Dave Douglas was born in Montclair, New Jersey, in 1963. He started learning piano when he was about five, picked up trombone at seven and switched to trumpet at nine. In high school, he listened to progressive rock, Frank Zappa, electric Miles or the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Among his early musical influences were Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Igor Stravinsky and Stevie Wonder. Dave Douglas had problems with his few classical music lessons because he could never play anything the same way twice. He went abroad one year. In Barcelona, Spain, at an outdoor festival, he not only had his first gig but also started improvising on trumpet - and music suddenly made sense to him. Back in the United States, he studied composition and performance in Boston for two years at the Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory. In 1984, he moved to New York where he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at New York University. He studied trumpet with Carmine Caruso while at the same time performing in the streets of the Big Apple. He continued his musical education on the bandstand with Horace Silver's ensemble from 1987 to 1990. He toured internationally with Horace Silver, Vincent Herring, Dr. Nerve and the Bread and Puppet Theatre.
 
Since then, Dave Douglas has made a name for himself as composer, improviser, trumpeter and leader of a series of groups such as Charms of the Night Sky, Dave Douglas Quartet, The Tiny Bell Trio, Dave Douglas Sextet, the electric octet Sanctuary, The Dave Douglas String Group, Satya (dedicated to Indian music) and Witness, a larger ensemble and follow-up to the double CD Sanctuary (Witness: Dave Douglas, trumpet, Chris Speed, saxophone, clarinet; Joshua Roseman, trombone; Erik Friedlander, cello; Mark Feldman, violin; Bryan Carrott, vibraphone; Drew Gress, bass; Ikue Mori, electronic percussion; Michael Sarin, drums). Douglas continues to explore the possibilities of combining improvisation with Indian music, Musique Concrete and orchestral music. He has performed at festivals throughout the world, written music for and collaborated with a series of other ensembles. Douglas was invited by John Zorn to play on Masada.
 
In 1993, Dave Douglas made his solo recording debut with Parallel Worlds. Later that year, he formed The Tiny Bell Trio, which was born out of necessity. When his duo partner, his wife and accordion player, went back to Switzerland, he needed a new group for a gig, one which could fit into a tiny corner of the Bell Café in Soho and which could play Eastern European folk music. Jim Black and Brad Schoeppach became the two musicians who joined him.
 
Dave Douglas' recording Charms of the Night Sky Quartet with Greg Cohen on bass, Mark Feldman on violin and Guy Klucevsek on accordion is a tribute to Eastern European music. Douglas had heard a solo concert by Guy Klucevsek in early 1998 or late 1997. With Mark Feldman, he has been playing for more than a dozen years, in groups such as the Mosaic Sextet and Uri Caine's Mahler Projects. (For more information on Douglas, his discography and numerous awards, check our previous article on Soul on Soul).
 
Bassist Greg Cohen  was born and raised in Los Angeles where he started playing in surf bands in the early 1960s. Since then, he has worked as an arranger, composer, producer and bassist. As an arranger, he has written for Tom Waits, Marisa Monte, Carlinhos Brown, David Sandborn and others. Film credits include musical arrangements for Ed Wood and Fried Green Tomatoes. As a producer, he was for instance responsible for Dagmar Krause's Thank Battles. In addition to working with Dave Douglas, Greg Cohen has played with The Rolling Stones, Laurie Anderson, Elvis Costello, John Zorn, David Byrne, Tom Waits, Randy Newman, Cheryl Crow, Burt Bacharach, Lou Reed and others. Among Greg Cohen's releases are Way Low and Moment to Moment.
 
Guy Klucevsek has created a unique repertoire for accordion through his own composing and by commissioning works from John Zorn, Aaron Jay Kernis, Mary Ellen Childs, William Duckworth, Somei Satoh and others. Klucevsek has composed dance scores for choreographers like Karen Bamonte, Angela Caponigro, Anita Feldman and Mark Taylor. He collaborated with writer, director, and visual artist Ping Chong on the music-theater piece Chinoiserie (1995). His solo performances include the Adelaide Festival, the Berlin Jazz Festival and Serious Fun! at the Lincoln Center. Klucevsek has played with and/or recorded with Dave Douglas, Laurie Anderson, Bill Frisell, the Kronos Quartet, Relâche and John Zorn, etc. Among his records are Accordion Tribe and Accordion Tribe 2: Four Accordions of the Apocalypse, featuring American composers and accordionists Alan Bern, Amy Den and Pauline Oliveros, as well as Polka Dots & Laser Beams. Guy Klucevsek can play everything from traditional polka to the most abstract chromatic twenty-first century music.
 
Born in Chicago, Mark Feldman is a violinist and composer who received the First Place award for "Talent Deserving Wider Recognition" in Down Beat's critics poll in 1994, 1995 and 1999. In 1998 the magazine's readers awarded him second place in the violin category. Mark Feldman has been a featured soloist with groups such as Basel Sinfonetta and George Gruntz Big Band in Switzerland, WDR Radio Orchestra and WDR Big Band in Germany, UMO Big Band in Finland and Sweet Basil Monday Nite Big Band in New York City. Mark Feldman has made over 100 solo recordings, including his own release Music for Violin Alone, his duo recording with pianist and composer Sylvie Courvoisier, Music for Violin and Piano, and as a member of the Zorn Quartet, John Zorn: The String Quartets. From 1980 to 1986, Mark Feldman lived in Nashville where he made more than 200 recordings with artists like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis and television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart. He moved to New York in 1986 where he worked as a studio musician with Cheryl Crow, The Manhattan Transfer and Diana Ross. He also collaborated with Lee Konitz, Tim Berne and others.
 
Former recordings by Dave Douglas with other bands include Stargazer (1997). The album helped establish Douglas as one of the notable trumpeters of the 1990's. As in later recordings, this tribute to the composer and saxophonist Wayne Shorter was no imitative exercise, but the starting point for his own stylistic approach. The compositions are originals with the exception of his creative renditions of Shorter's classics On the Milky Way Express, Pug Nose and Diana. Uri Caine on piano, Joshua Roseman on trombone, Chris Speed on tenor saxophone and clarinet, James Genus on bass and his "Masada" bandmate Joey Baron on drums were Douglas' partners on Stargazer. In 1994, the group recorded In Our Lifetime, a tribute to composer and trumpeter Booker Little.
 
Leap of Faith (1998) is another milestone by trumpeter Dave Douglas. Recorded with Chris Potter on tenor saxophone, Ben Perowsky on drums, and James Genus on bass (Genus had played on Stargazer in Douglas' Sextet; before, Dave had toured with Genus in Vincent Herring's group in the late 1980s). It is a rhythmic, dense and intensive jazz, no easy-listening. The openness, creativeness and fantasy of Leap of Faith are remarkable. It is another album on which Douglas integrates different types of music into jazz. Classical and Indian music are his sources here. The group challenges the idea of strict categories in music. Douglas' trumpet solo in the title song Leap of Faith is outstanding. Magic Triangle (1998), featuring bassist James Genus, drummer Ben Perowsky and tenor saxophonist Chris Potter, is another important step in Dave Douglas' career. Down Beat readers put Magic Triangle among the top eight albums of the year and Dave Douglas finished second, by a margin of five votes, as Trumpeter of the Year. His trumpet play lights up the album.
 
Dave Douglas with Charms of the Night Sky in concert at "jazz in winterthur", on November 4, 2000
Concert review by Jacques Rohner & Louis Gerber
 
After the gig with his Sextet and the music dedicated to Mary Lou Williams (CD: Soul on Soul) in April, the trumpeter Dave Douglas stopped by in Winterthur again on November 4. At the Alte Kaserne, he presented himself with one of his eight groups, the quartet Charms of the Night Sky, including Mark Feldman, violin, Guy Klucevsek, accordion and Greg Cohen, acoustic bass. In contrast to Soul on Soul with its free jazz elements, in November the quartet mostly offered titles from their 1998-album Charms of the Night Sky, which was a tribute to the music of the gypsies, and from their latest release, A Thousand Evenings (RCA Victor, 2000), which also pays tribute to Eastern European folk music. The works of classical romantic composers also found their way into Douglas' tunes. The contrast to Soul on Soul could not be sharper. Harmonic compositions with melodies one can easily follow were combined with elements of other forms of music, sometimes disruptive and challenging traditional listening experiences.
 
Dave Douglas is a multi-faceted musician who caters for very different tastes. He does not recreate a sound of the past, but takes compositions by other musicians as points of departure and from then on he creates his own musical universe. In Winterthur, he and his quartet integrated romantic, melancholic and heartbreaking Jewish and gypsy songs and dances. Their chamber music enchanted the public. Dave Douglas, Greg Cohen, Mark Feldman and Guy Klucevsek showed once more what moves them: not the fulfillment of expectations, but the search for alternatives, the enlargement of the musical vocabulary through the playful and creative alienation of traditional sounds, which, in Winterthur and on the albums Charms of the Night Sky and A Thousand Evenings, come from Eastern Europe.
 
Dave Douglas' experience with these types of music began in the late 1980s in an experimental dance, music and theater group in Switzerland, which was using Romanian folk music as the basis of a show. Later, he began transcribing tapes of various Eastern European sounds. In 1990, he began playing klezmer music with Don Byron. These traditional styles are inspiring music which lend themselves well to improvisation, their affinity to jazz is evident. At the same time, in Winterthur, the four musicians of the Douglas quartet never denied their roots which lay in jazz and classical music. The expression of universal human feelings unites them with the Eastern European tradition. The intensity of the cultural exchange taking place in New York surely favors the creation of new artistic forms. But it needs hard-working men like Dave Douglas, Greg Cohen, Mark Feldman and Guy Klucevsek to enlarge the possibilities of musical expression. In Winterthur, they proved capable of breaking frontiers while still respecting the tradition.


Dave Douglas - trumpet.


 

Dave Douglas: Strange Liberation. February 2004. Get the CD from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk.


Dave Douglas: A Thousand Evenings. RCA Victor/BMG, October 2000. Get it from Amazon.com or Amazon.de.


Dave Douglas: Charms of the Night Sky. Winter & Winter, 1998. Get it from Amazon.com or citydisc Schweiz.
 

Dave Douglas: Stargazer. Arabesque Records, 1997. Get the CD from Amazon.com.


Dave Douglas: Magic Triangle. Arabesque Records, 1998. Get it from Amazon.com.


Dave Douglas: Leap of Faith. Arabesque Records, 1998. Get it from Amazon.com





Deutsch Politik Geschichte Kunst Film Musik Lebensart Reisen
English Politics History Art Film Music Lifestyle Travel
Français Politique Histoire Arts Film Musique Artdevivre Voyages

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© Copyright www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.