Parallel Worlds, part of the new 6CD Dave Douglas box set

Parallel Worlds was my first record as a leader, recorded one week before my 30th birthday on March 17, 1993. It has just been reissued in a box set of work I did for the Black Saint/Soul Note label.

Memories are of working really hard on it. I’m indebted to Tim Berne who introduced me to the Bonandrini family and helped me produce the record. I’m also indebted to the players, Mark Feldman, violin; Erik Friedlander, cello; Mark Dresser, bass; and Michael Sarin, drums. Not only for the playing but also for the laughter. That was a funny band.

John Rosenberg recorded it at Sear Sound and painstakingly put up with my very picky (and probably annoying) thoughts about the audio mix. Remember battling print-through on the two inch analogue tapes (that’s when loud sound “burns though” to the tape spooled next to it, causing a shadow of the louder sound to appear in the spaces). Walter Sear was a collector of vintage microphones, so I was introduced then to the RCA 44 microphone I have played into on so many records. Didn’t know how lucky I was.

Memories of making sequence tapes on cassette over and over and over. Then listening to them all the way through, in almost exactly the amount of time it would take to walk around Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Also remember working hard to find a balance in the music between all the different influences. Covering Webern, Ellington, Weill, and Stravinsky seemed like a jazz move to me, improvising with materials and playing like a band. Likewise on the title track working pretty strictly with 12 tone language inspired by Charles Wuorinen and his book Simple Composition, and also reaching to find an openness for the players and a blues feeling in the interpretation. It was a working band and in looking back it feels like I was lucky to be able to document that at that stage.

[Parallel Worlds was just rereleased in a box set with Dave’s other recordings for Black Saint / Soul Note. Those records included Five and Convergence with Dave Douglas String Group as well as recordings with Rova, Mark Dresser, and Jon Lindberg.]