Wood Shedding Season

Was so happy to vote yesterday and to see sanity retake the House of Representatives. We didn't win all the battles, but in terms of diversity and public service, we can count this as a big win.

Meanwhile, this is firewood season. Been splitting and stacking since July, and now the wood shed is almost full and ready for the winter to come. Somehow satisfying to go out and smack those logs around an get them into shape when so much is uncontrollable.

And the wood shed is right outside my composing room, so this process always feeds into my writng. This season no different, putting the finishing touches on a new suite of pieces for the subscription recording series of 2019. Will perform them on December 1st in New York.

And the house will be warm and toasty.


Metamorphosis | Ophiucus

Getting to play with two of my heroes and one great new friend. I first met Fred Frith when he produced the Dr. Nerve record by Nick Didkovsky around 1986. He’s always been of my favorite guitar colorists. I was so grateful to have him on Metamorphosis. Ditto Oliver Lake, who I met somewhat later and have had a few chances to share music with. I so enjoyed conversing with him on this track, which describes the constellation Ophiucus, the serpent bearer, which is also sometimes counted as the thirteenth sign of the Zodiac. Kris Davis is a new colleague for me, and she shines so strongly on this track. A deep listener and another great colorist, she brought so much to this session. There’s a pensive quality to this piece that sets in soon after it comes crashing out of the gate. I cherish each interaction with these three great improvisers.

Greenleaf Subscribers can stream and download Ophiucus on Bandcamp along with all of the tracks from the Metamorphosis series.

Click here to learn more about the Metamorphosis Subscriber Series. Program notes can be found here.

If you’d like to join us a subscriber, visit our Bandcamp subscription page here.


ANFTD #43: Dave Douglas on WKCR 1 of 3

May 24, 2017 Dave was invited as a guest on the WKCR Musician Show with host Matt Landes. It was a three hour broadcast, which A Noise From The Deep is splitting into three episodes of approximately one hour each. Dave’s approach for the show was to play music by trumpeters he admires that you may not have heard of. Episode One includes music by Theljon Allen, Theo Croker, Verneri Pohjola, Oskar Stenmark, Nadje Noordhuis, Kevin Cobb, NO BS Brass Band, and South African flugelhornist Feya Faku.

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Please Do This

Our ever-changing landscape for recorded music makes independent creative music making more challenging and more important than ever. I am convinced that our community needs to exist and that new music will continue to be made for future generations. I am also convinced that our symbiotic community of listeners, music makers and families must stick together and commit to supporting and nurturing each other.

If you have thought about supporting the sustainable model we have created at Greenleaf Music, now would be great time to sign on. At the $25 annual level you can stream the entire catalog, including special Subscription Series releases and other unique content. Other levels also contain physical product and further discounts. It’s great value, and it’s also is crucial to our sustainable creative model. We are 100% advertisement free. You get the direct music from the artist. We created the model with that in mind. We need you to complete the picture. Sign on and enjoy the music and the community.

As one listener commented to me: Shakespeare might call it “a good deed in a naughty world.” The world is tough. We plan to continue making an oasis in music and creative thought. Please take a moment to join us.


Metamorphosis | Lyra

Lyra features our two string players, Yasushi Nakamura on bass and Fred Frith on Guitar. Traveling with Yasushi, I often remark on how the poor guy who offered us his bass must be cringing at the vigor with which Yasushi seems to destroy the instrument. This is his own bass, the sound full and resonant. Fred Frith of course brings an astonishingly varied set of sounds to the table here. Amazing to hear how many different tones he can get, and in so short an amount of time. Grateful to the venerable Fred for having made time for this recording session. Matt Mitchell and Andrew Cyrille punctuate the music with deft fluidity and rhythmic collusion. This track is seventh in the series. Thanks for listening and being a part of our community of artists at Greenleaf.

Greenleaf Subscribers can stream and download Lyra on Bandcamp along with all of the tracks from the Metamorphosis series.

Click here to learn more about the Metamorphosis Subscriber Series. Program notes can be found here.

If you’d like to join us a subscriber, visit our Bandcamp subscription page here.


Metamorphosis | Hercules

Right before this take Andrew Cyrille looked at me from across the studio and said, “Hercules, right?” This track sounds uncannily like the running, charging figure in the constellation. Kris Davis and I had never played together before this session. It was one of the great joys to find this musical dialogue with her through all the kinetic activity of Andrew and Matt Mitchell on modular synth. This was a new instrument for Matt, and it’s kind of amazing how the texture and timbre of his fast moving playing matches the piano and drums. This was an absolutely new configuration for me, and I was grateful to the players for forcing me to find something new to play. The dialogue is astounding to hear several months later.

Hercules is part of the once-a-month releases of the suite Metamorphosis. Subscribers get access to the new track every month, as well as a physical CD at the end of the year. Join us to enjoy the music and help support a sustainable environment for creative music and art. Thank you.

Greenleaf Subscribers can stream and download Hercules on Bandcamp along with all of the tracks from the Metamorphosis series.

Click here to learn more about the Metamorphosis Subscriber Series. Program notes can be found here.

If you’d like to join us a subscriber, visit our Bandcamp subscription page here.


Metamorphosis | Eridanus

Wadada Leo Smith, Oliver Lake, Fred Frith, and Andrew Cyrille. I am humbled by these masters. This is their interpretation of Eridanus, a constellation that zigs and zags, representing the river no mortal eyes have ever seen. I’m not sure this combination of players had ever performed together before this day last December. Not that I know of in any case. This track is a masterful blend of crafty electric guitar textures, coloristic drumming, and simply brilliant sonic adventurousness from both horn players. Surprising unisons, gorgeous use of space, and an amazing climax in the last minute featuring blazing trumpet work from Wadada. Amazing performance that I am proud to share with subscribers to Greenleaf Music who receive these monthly tracks of Metamorphosis.

Greenleaf Subscribers can stream and download Eridanus on Bandcamp along with all of the tracks from the Metamorphosis series.

Click here to learn more about the Metamorphosis Subscriber Series. Program notes can be found here.

If you’d like to join us a subscriber, visit our Bandcamp subscription page here.


Metamorphosis | Delphinus

Wadada Leo Smith, Dave Douglas, Yasushi Nakamura, Matt Mitchell.

I’ve discovered in the course of recording and performing Metamorphosis that I love playing with Wadada Leo Smith. The interaction is profound and instantaneous. Here he plays mostly open horn and I play half harmon muted. We are both sonically and intervallically interweaving with Yasushi’s bowed bass and Matt Mitchell’s modular synthesizer. There are moments where the shape of the constellation Delphinus are clearly apparent. There is also the humor of this dolphin coming to save the day, only to dive back into the deep. This was a truly enjoyable quartet to play in.

I hope you enjoy receiving these tracks every month as we continue to roll out the entire session for you as a subscriber to Greenleaf Music. Thank you.

Greenleaf Subscribers can stream and download Delphinus on Bandcamp along with all of the tracks from the Metamorphosis series.

Click here to learn more about the Metamorphosis Subscriber Series. Program notes can be found here.

If you’d like to join us a subscriber, visit our Bandcamp subscription page here.


ANFTD #41: Joe Lovano

Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas

Joe Lovano talks about his long-time home and session pad in the loft at 23rd Street and 6th Avenue in New York. He also talks about Hank Jones, Paul Motian, and improvisation, and about the spiritual aspect and the spirits in his music. Great thoughts from a great musician.

Music heard in this episode:

Bird’s Eye View - Joe Lovano, Hank Jones, George Mraz, Lewis Nash

Journey Within - Joe Lovano, Lionel Loueke, Otis Brown III, Francisco Mela

Cool, Streams of Expression Pt. 2 - Joe Lovano, Tim Hagans, Barry Ries, Larry Farrell, Steve Slagle, George Garzone, Ralph Lalama, Gary Smulyan, John Hicks, Dennis Irwin, Lewis Nash

Amber - Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas, Mark Dresser

It Should Have Happened A Long Time Ago - Paul Motian Trio: Joe Lovano, Bill Frisell, Paul Motian

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Metamorphosis | Cassiopeia

Cassiopeia is the Queen banished to the night sky as punishment for her vanity. She speeds around the sky off-kilter, clinging to her throne so as not to fall off. Matt Mitchell’s modular synth sets the shape of this performance, limning the angular shape and off-kilter feeling of Cassiopeia. He is joined by Kris Davis on prepared piano and Andrew Cyrille mostly on mallets. Wadada Leo Smith soon joins them on harmon-muted trumpet, providing intervallic shapes in contrast to the electronic and percussive textures. Pure of tone, Wadada plays one of the most direct, poignant solos I’ve heard, drifting off into nothingness at the end.

Greenleaf Subscribers can stream and download Cassiopeia on Bandcamp along with all of the tracks from the Metamorphosis series.

Click here to learn more about the Metamorphosis Subscriber Series. Program notes can be found here.

If you’d like to join us a subscriber, visit our Bandcamp subscription page here.


ANFTD #40: Roswell Rudd

Trombonist and composer Roswell Rudd has been a force in American music for over 60 years. Emerging from the brass and Dixieland bands of New England colleges in the mid-1950s, Rudd went on to New York to join fellow-seekers Steve Lacy, Herbie Nichols, Archie Shepp, Milford Graves, Cecil Taylor, Carla Bley, Charlie Haden and many others. An important aspect of Rudd’s work came about in doing research for Alan Lomax, categorizing and analyzing hundreds of hours of musical field recordings from around the globe over a span of several decades. He credits this work with deepening his understanding of musical systems, giving him the ability to travel anywhere in the world and fit into disparate musical traditions and practices.

Rudd and his partner, producer Verna Gillis, have traveled the world since 2001, producing ground-breaking collaborations with musicians from Mali, Mongolia, China and Siberia. Roswell Rudd conducts master classes and workshops, as well as continuing to perform. His most recent recording is a collaboration with the vocalist Heather Masse entitled August Love Song.

THE OLDERS, Roswell Rudd and Verna Gillis, are ready to release their new song/video AWESOME & GRUESOME.

We’d like to give a special THANK YOU to Verna Gillis for her help in creating this episode. Podcast is edited by Geoff Countryman.

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A Year Ends, A Year Begins

Getting ready to close out a great year for creative music! A challenging year in some other ways, admittedly...

We are aiming to reach a new high in our community of subscribers. If you listen to the music we make -- my music, that of Rudy Royston, Ryan Keberle, Linda Oh, Greg Ward, podcasts, special releases, we would really like to hear from you. To make this sustainable, we are looking to gather just a few more subscribers before the year ends. That could be you!

In January, we will release the first tracks of our 2017 Subscription Series, Metamorphosis, featuring myself, Wadada Leo Smith, Oliver Lake, Fred Frith, Kris Davis, Matt Mitchell (on modular synth), Yasushi Nakamura, and Andrew Cyrille. It's a series you are not going to want to miss. The project will play live at Lincoln Center in New York on March 3 and 4.

To further entice you to join us as this year ends, subscribers at Levels 2 and 3 will get Paperback edition CDs of the 2015 Serial Sessions, and the 2016 New Sanctuary.

I hope you'll join us now -- we depend on your support as we move into what will be a very challenging new cycle. We will always keep producing great creative music in response!

Best wishes for the holiday season and beyond.

Dave