DAVE DOUGLAS - OVERCOME


We Shall Overcome… a passionate statement of standing up to all of the forces facing racial, climate, gender, scientific and voting justice.” – The Vancouver Sun

An album of socially-conscious music recorded remotely with Ryan Keberle, Camila Meza, Fay Victor, Jorge Roeder, and Rudy Royston.
The Limited Edition 12″ Vinyl LP and digital download will be released on June 17, 2022.

Overcome is a new Dave Douglas recording, alongside vocalist Fay Victor, vocalist and guitarist Camila Meza, bassist Jorge Roeder, and drummer Rudy Royston, who banded together over a period of months to create a new album of songs. A statement of purpose, an acknowledgement of forebears, and an exhortation to activism, Overcome involves the six musicians in an emotional and powerful statement of human engagement towards justice: Racial justice. Climate justice. Voting justice. Gender justice.

The project began with a reimagining of the Civil Rights anthem, “We Shall Overcome,” featuring Victor and Meza each singing a verse before joining for a rousing final verse. As Douglas began working on the originals for the album, this unique communal vocal interplay became a key element of three more pieces: “Overcome” and “When We Are Together Again” are both inspired by the challenges of pandemic isolation; “Good Trouble” celebrates activist John Lewis. Victor takes the spotlight on “Peace” as she voices poignant poetry from Langston Hughes. And the free-spirited Royston original “Perspective” brings a nice balance to the proceedings. This is spirited communal music on a mission.

The album was released exclusively on Bandcamp in December 2020 in digital format. Via a successful Bandcamp vinyl pledge campaign in Spring 2021, the material will be released worldwide on Limited Edition 12” black vinyl and on all streaming platforms.

Dave Douglas: “I was thrilled to be able work with these brilliant musicians, some of us for the first time, during this period of travel and studio restrictions. Fay Victor and Camila Meza are two of my absolute favorite singers. They brought so much heart to this music, as well great lyrics! Jorge Roeder and Rudy Royston were just a dream rhythm section, moving the music forward effortlessly. Playing with their tracks was a high I had not had in months! And trombonist Ryan Keberle – what can I say, fantastic musician and human – Ryan helped me conceive of and pull off this whole dream. Overcome!

When We Are Together Again was recently collected, including sheet music and notes, by the Library of Congress as a significant piece created during and influenced by the pandemic. Proud to have been able to continue work with this inspiring ensemble and to release this music on vinyl LP.”

Dave Douglas, New York

Liner Notes

The project began in discussions with Ryan Keberle about what more we could do to address the changes towards justice we both see as crucial to our country and our society. Racial justice. Climate justice. Voting justice. Gender justice. Scientific justice. And now the push for science to begin to push back the virus so we can all gather together again. We decided we could make music devoted to civic engagement and speaking out on these issues. And in an election year, we saw the band touring in swing states around the country. Without any touring, those plans changed. But I was determined to follow through on the creative vision for the project and began writing in earnest in April 2020.

The first thing that came naturally to the project was my arrangement of We Shall Overcome. We’ve been singing that for years and felt like with two vocalists like Fay and Camila, we could make a new unique version of the piece. Camila chose the verse, “We Are Not Afraid,” from among several available. It’s so strong. Then I began writing the original pieces. The word “Overcome” started to take on new resonances through the depth of feeling and resilience during this time of isolation. We began the process of recording in July 2020, and passed files back and forth over the next few months.

Once complete, it was hard for any of us to imagine we had not been in the same room when this music was made. I am so grateful to Jorge, Rudy, Ryan, Fay and Camila for helping me pull this off. I’m all grateful to Tyler McDiarmid for helping us out with engineering throughout the whole process. We are Overcome. We Shall Overcome. Enjoy.

Track Details

1. We Shall Overcome (4:35)
2. Good Trouble, for John Lewis (7:15)
3. Overcome (5:09)
4. When We Are Together Again (4:25)
5. Peace (5:09)
6. Perspective (12:08)

Personnel

Dave Douglas, trumpet
Ryan Keberle, trombone
Fay Victor, voice
Camila Meza, voice & guitar
Jorge Roeder, bass
Rudy Royston, drums

Production Credits

Co-Executive Producers: Dave Douglas and Mark Weiss
Producer: Dave Douglas
Recorded by each musician, in NY, remotely, between July and September, 2020.
Mixed and mastered by Tyler McDiarmid
Engineering assistant to Mr. Roeder, Mark Goodell
Photos by Dave Douglas
Design by Lukas Frei
Special thanks to Mark Weiss at ‘Lions with Wings’ and ‘Earthwise Productions’ for co-sponsoring this project.

All arrangements by Dave Douglas

We Shall Overcome, traditional
Good Trouble, for John Lewis, music and words by Dave Douglas (Dave Douglas Music / BMI)
Overcome, When We Are Together Again, Peace, music by Dave Douglas (Dave Douglas Music / BMI)
Overcome, words by Camila Meza (Ambar Music / ASCAP)
When We Are Together Again, words by Camila Meza (Ambar Music / ASCAP) and Fay Victor (ZooToon Publishing / ASCAP)
Peace, words by Langston Hughes
Perspective, music by Rudy Royston (Rudy Royston Publishing / ASCAP)

Press Inquiries

Matt Merewitz
Fully Altered Media
matt@fullyaltered.com

Links:

Website: www.davedouglas.com
Twitter: @davedouglas
Facebook: @davedouglasmusic
Instagram: @davedouglas

Press

Dave Douglas’ Overcome – a warm and reflective sextet album featuring vocalists Fay Victor and Camila Meza – didn’t fit either template: Recorded entirely remotely during the pandemic, it proved that the collective spirit of jazz can withstand a whole lot.” – Rolling Stone, Best Jazz Albums of 2020

… listening to it you’d swear they were all in a single room, singing and playing together. It’s really beautiful.” – Stereogum

We Shall Overcome… a passionate statement of standing up to all of the forces facing racial, climate, gender, scientific and voting justice.” – Vancouver Sun

More and more, artists have also discovered ways to connect across the ether, collaborating from their respective bubbles. Trumpeter Dave Douglas made a digital album this way, called ‘Overcome,’ with singer / songwriters Fay Victor and Camila Meza, and a few other partners. They created the music in pieces, passing files back and forth. But the sound of their communion makes it seem as if they’re all in a room together. That’s precisely the image they’re seeking to evoke, and the hope they’re holding onto in the meantime.” – NPR Morning Edition

A remarkable achievement.” – Jazz History Online

… as the individuals wail, moan but also coalesce in listening to each other’s songs, so a collective sound gels from the disparate parts. Apart from each other but still a part of the voices of all.” – Jazzwise

Despite recording their parts individually and passing the files back and forth over the internet, the sextet, including vocalists Fay Victor and Camila Meza, are so fluid and responsive one might never know this record’s extraordinary circumstances.” – Bandcamp Daily