Known Johnson

September 21, 2005

New stuff from Dave Douglas and Brad Mehldau

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 7:56 pm

Dave Douglas, “trumpet player of the year” award winner from a buttload of in-the-know jazz magazines, one of my very favorite new voices in jazz, has released a new album, Keystone. The problem is that, unless you live outside the US, you aren’t going to find it in stores. Maybe burned after his brief association with major label RCA, Douglas has opted to self-release the new album on his own label, Greenleaf Music. So if you want Keystone (released just this week,) which is in the vein of 2002’s Freak In, head over to this page and order yourself a copy. And while you’re there, be sure and order a copy of his also-internet-only live album. I hate seeing incredible musicians like Douglas get screwed by the music industry, but I love seeing them take things into their own hands like this. If you’re a jazz fan, think about supporting Dave and independent music by ordering a couple discs for yourself. (A nice plus: prices include shipping.)

UPDATE: I received my package from Douglas’ Greenleaf Music on Friday, Sept. 23. That’s two days after ordering it – and it shipped from Illinois. Now that’s customer service. I was so impressed that I ordered a couple more discs from them – Douglas’ Mountain Passages, which I missed out on when it came out earlier this year, and the other band on his label, the very promising Kneebody, whose album Break Me is a really exciting blend of trumpet jazz and hip-hop-ish sensibilities, similar to what Douglas is doing with Keystone. Check ’em out.

UPDATE TWO: The order for the two discs above was placed Saturday morning, Sept. 24. I found the package in the mail yesterday – Sept. 26. How they managed to get this package to me from Chicago in less than two days is beyond me – and with $1.88 postage.

Day Is Done is the title of classically-trained jazz pianist Brad Mehldau’s latest outing, this time backed by a partially new trio. Jeff Ballard replaces Jorge Rossy on drums, as the latter has chosen to study and spend time with his family. And in what appears to be turning into a tradition, Mehldau takes on yet another Radiohead composition, this time “Knives Out,” from 2001’s Amnesiac, which opens the album. As much as I love his Radiohead covers, I’ve found myself obsessed with his take on Nick Drake’s “Things Behind the Sun,” found on his 2003 album, Live in Tokyo, which I just picked up the other day. I would have loved to have seen a full-band version of that, but alas it’s not on the new album. There are plenty of other promising pieces, a balance of covers and originals.

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