Friday, January 30, 2004

There's an interesting article on Dave Douglas by Billy Strayhorn biographer David Hajdu in the new issue of the New Republic. The online version requires a subscription, but some kind soul posted it to the Jazzcorner Speakeasy's Speak Out section under the title "David Hadju on Dave Douglas." Here's an excerpt:

Douglas himself prefers not to call his music jazz. "I hesitate to use the word jazz now," Douglas explains, "because it's so fraught with tension. I'm perfectly comfortable with the fact that a lot of people feel that some of what I do is not jazz, and if I can grow into something that's beyond a jazz musician, I would be perfectly proud of that. However, when I hear people use the word jazz in a way that I disagree with, I get this really angry and proprietary feeling of wanting to protect the word, so on some level it means something to me. When I see that someone is trying to limit what jazz can be and shut certain people out of the house, I feel that they're cutting an avenue of exploration and ingenuity, and I feel that it's bad for the genre, because the genre dies if it can't change. There's no artistic need to put a door on genres and styles, absolutely none."

I picked up Douglas' new disc Strange Liberation a few days ago, it's excellent, and I hope to post a review of it soon.

Send comments to: Tim