Dave Douglas' In Our Lifetime
This page presents some discussion and samples from Dave Douglas' 1995 release
In Our Lifetime, New World/Countercurrents 80471-2, along with corresponding
samples from Booker Little's Out Front and Victory and Sorrow
Douglas' record is a brilliant tribute to music that was played many
years ago, but is completely contemporary, as expressed in the title "In
our lifetime". Douglas told me that he spent a lot of time listening
to music from the late 50s - early 60s in preparation for composing the
music on this CD. Booker Little was out front in this process, obviously,
as he includes 3 Little compositions, and was directly inspired by Booker
in several of his original works.
The musicians participating in this ensemble are Dave Douglas (trumpet),
Chris Speed (clarinet and tenor sax), Josh Roseman (trombone), Uri Caine
(piano), James Genus (bass), Joey Baron (drums), and Marty Ehrlich (bass
clarinet on "In Our Lifetime"). The sessions took place December
7 and 8, 1994 at Power Station, NYC. See Patrice Roussel's discography
for a fairly complete list of Douglas' work. Also note Francis Davis' remarks
in this interview
in Atlantic Magazine.
Douglas says he is attracted to the open forms provided by Little, by the
long forms that don't consist of simple phrases, and by the space given
to soloists in the sense of providing structures that still allow the soloist
to play freely.
The complete track listing for the CD is:
- In Our Lifetime (Dave Douglas) [10:16]
- Three Little Monsters (Dave Douglas) [5:20]
- Forward Flight (Booker Little) [6:54]
- The Persistence of Memory (Dave Douglas) [4:37]
- Out in the Cold (Dave Douglas) [6:26]
- Strength and Sanity (Booker Little) [4:47]
- Four Miniatures after Booker Little (Dave Douglas)
- Sappho [0:49]
- At Dawn [4:07]
- Shred [2:41]
- Rapid Ear Movement [1:36]
- Moods in Free Time (Booker Little) [5:40]
- Bridges (for Tim Berne) (Dave Douglas) [17:44]
- Moods in Free Time
Douglas' intro (704K), first 1:25 or so. Douglas
opens the piece by playing 8 bars over a 2-chord vamp, then plays a fairly
spritely version of part of the tune. His solo begins after a single chorus
of the theme, and the whole tune (actually just the 5/4 section) is only
played following his solo. Little enters with a more formal rendition of
the composition from the start. The piece has 8 bars
in 3/4 (112K), a long section in 5/4 and 4/4
(392K), then a slow section in 6/4 (280K), before
leading smoothly into the solos over the vamp (in 6/4). Here is a bit of
Booker's solo (264K), about which Nat Hentoff
wrote: "I find Booker's playing here - with its resemblance to a Spanish
flamenco singer or a Jewish cantor - exceptionally moving." Hentoff's
remarks can be equally applied to Douglas' solo:
End of Douglas' solo (320K) from about 1:48 to
2:26 or so
Dave plays pained pleading lines over the 2-chord ensemble vamp.
Douglas obviously gave a lot of thought to his arrangement of this wonderful
piece, rendering its simplicity further out front. Note the use of just
piano accompaniment behind Chris Speed's clarinet solo.
- Forward Flight
Introduction Douglas' version (144K)
first 16 seconds
Little's version (192K) first 24 seconds
Douglas uses this behind the opening trombone solo.
Fast Theme Douglas' version (280K) ~ 2:38
Little's version (368K) ~ 0:25 to 1:10
This consists of a beautiful ABA head.
Slow Theme Douglas' version (280K) ~ 3:12
Little's version (256K) ~ 1:12 to 1:44
Trumpet solo First part of Little's solo
(392K) ~ 1:48 to 2:37
End of Little's solo and beginning of Coleman's (568K)
~ 2:37 to 3:49
Douglas' solo (576K) ~ 3:48 to 5:02
This solo is a great example of Douglas' playing. He starts way down sounding
like a trombone, goes on to use his full range in a highly inventive story
he delivers above the contrasting piano accompaniment, and finally leads
smoothly into the tenor solo as did Booker. The low quality of this reproduction
doesn't allow his tone to be properly appreciated.
- Strength and Sanity
Douglas' opening (472K) Little's
The piece begins with a piano introduction, then this section ("strength"?).
Douglas' sanity (560K) Little's
This is the rest of the opening statement ("sanity"?). Max's use
of the cowbell may just be bringing Bud's Un Poco Loco to mind.
This is followed by a very expressive Little solo, or by a brief interlude
featuring Uri Caine in Douglas' version.
Douglas' ending (528K) Little's
These samples are taken from the final minute or so, and include a bit of
trumpet leading into the restatement of the "sanity" themes.
Entire composition (408K)
This tune consists of a blues theme that Douglas plays a couple of increasingly
abstract variations on then restates, with brief ensemble chords appearing
4 times at intervals of about 10 seconds.
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Date created: 7/1/96
Last modified: 12 December 2005
Maintained by: Alan Saul