Talking Talkhouse: Further thoughts on Wayne Shorter’s “Without A Net”

Thrilled the other night at Jazz Standard to see keyboardist Jim Beard! I heard him in several different Wayne Shorter groups around the time I moved to New York, between 1984 and 1989 or so. Beard played all of the Atlantis material with Shorter, as well as playing on the album Phantom Navigator and in subsequent live performances. Since writing about Shorter's new work for The Talkhouse, I have had several interesting conversations about it, and Jim Beard had some observations that hadn't occurred to me.

Time Travel Made Possible Through Music

Jim asked me to pick 5 recordings to share on the occasion of my 50th birthday. Difficult to do as compositions are like children -- how would you pick your favorite? Also like children, they grow and change over time. I would certainly play all of these pieces differently today. Recorded music is an excellent document of a moment in time, but even this fixed medium changes as we perceive things differently. The exhilarating thing about playing music is that as you play you have absolute freedom in time. Move forward, move back, the more the merrier.

Garden State – Live, in-studio performance by Dave Douglas Quintet from the album Time Travel

Recorded & mixed by Joe Ferla at Avatar Studios, April 2012 at the same sessions that yielded the album Be Still [2012] which Stereophile called "one of the best sounding records we've heard by any one in quite awhile." This all-instrumental album features Dave's new Quintet with Jon Irabagon on tenor saxophone, Matt Mitchell on piano, Linda Oh on bass, and Rudy Royston on drums.

Dave Douglas Quintet “Time Travel” advance look

Watch a 60-second teaser of the forthcoming album "Time Travel" by Dave Douglas featuring Jon Irabagon, Matt Mitchell, Linda Oh, and Rudy Royston.

Be Still Book Announced.

Very happy to make the new book available. It has lyrics as well as clearly detailed voicings and arrangements. It’s a nice complement to the other sheet music in the shop, which you can find here. I had a few questions for Dave as we proofed the Be Still Book. A brief discussion ensued. Warning: this gets really muso nerdy.

Harmful Music

I heard an interview some time ago with an author who listed the “Ten Most Harmful Novelists for Aspiring Writers.” Is there a record or records you think have the effect of changing artists to a degree that may be detrimental?

The Greenleaf Sampler 2012

Download a free 5-song sampler from our 2012 releases.

Donny McCaslin’s Casting For Gravity release day

Donny came to Chicago earlier this year with Jason, Tim, and Mark for a run at Green Mill previewing music they were getting ready to record. Needless to say, we were dumbfounded and extremely excited at what we heard and saw. What we heard was all this new music that was, at the time, dubbed "Stadium Jazz" by Tim. It was big, bigger than anything we'd heard before. Donny flexing his herculean horn, Mark breaking beats and blowing minds, Tim towering in the back muscling his fuzz pedals, and Jason synthing it all to the outer limits. What we saw was more head bobbing than you'd expect at a jazz show. The young kids trying their hardest to record video on their phones on-the-sly all lapping up every note by everyone on the stage. Maybe it was the Old Fashioneds we were drinking, but this was one of the best shows we've ever seen at the Mill.

Donny McCaslin’s “Casting For Gravity” has arrived. Preorder now available.

Where Donny's previous album Perpetual Motion was a blistering electro-acoustic hybrid, Casting for Gravity soars past fusion into alchemy, forging a visionary voice from eclectic influences.

Video: Be Still My Soul

The in-studio video of track 1 from Dave Douglas' album Be Still featuring Aoife O'Donovan of Crooked Still, Jon Irabagon, Matt Mitchell, Linda Oh, and Rudy Royston.