Dave Douglas Downbeat Q&A


Taken from Downbeat:

Trumpeter Dave Douglas is one of jazz’s most adventurous minds, leading a stunning array of diverse projects.

In 2015 he’s released two very different CDs: High Risk, a richly textured collaboration with electronica producer Shigeto (aka Zachary Saginaw), and Brazen Heart, the third album by his stellar quintet with saxophonist Jon Irabagon, pianist Matt Mitchell, bassist Linda Oh and drummer Rudy Royston.

That’s in addition to several more accomplishments: celebrating the 10th anniversary of his Greenleaf Music label; hosting a podcast featuring interviews with the likes of Henry Threadgill, John Zorn and Marc Ribot; and directing the annual Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT), which will take place in New York City on Sept. 24–29 and will honor Eddie Henderson.

DownBeat caught up with Douglas via Skype a few days after the quintet performed together for the first time in six months at the Detroit Jazz Festival.

DownBeat: The quintet sounds like it’s really evolved over the last few years.

Dave Douglas: I feel like every time you play it’s an opportunity to grow and find some new areas to play in. With this band in particular, the way everyone plays keeps me on my toes as a composer. It has to do with how you construct the conversation and how people take part in that conversation.

How do you open the door enough for everyone to say what they have to say, and discover and explore what they want to explore, and still have the music retain a shape and have a distinctive voice?

Of course, Miles Davis was the great master of that, but Wayne Shorter is my great guiding star in the music. His views on freedom and his current approach to process in an improvising jazz group are revolutionary in the sense that they throw away a lot of the accepted conventions of the way we normally do things. And that’s an overarching philosophy for him—I think. I don’t want to pretend that I understand Wayne. (read more at downbeat.com)