10 Questions for Dave Douglas

In Chicago as part of a residency at Columbia College including performances this weekend at the Jazz Showcase, Dave Douglas sat down with Michael Jeffers of Chicago Jazz Magazine:

(1) CJM: What were your main influences musically when you were growing up that you think might have had some influence on your style of trumpet playing today?

Douglas: My main interest was always the complete musicians--composer, player, bandleader, visionary types. John Coltrane is a good example of someone who kept growing, expanding and changing. That takes a certain kind of courage that we are trying to instill in these young musicians from Columbia College. No matter what style of music, the main thing is to create something of your own, and to keep progressing and growing in the music. Miles Davis of course has always been a major inspiration for me. Igor Stravinsky is another example of someone whose music changed and evolved over time. Stevie Wonder, Wayne Shorter, Gil Evans, all have been very important influences for me. But there is no end to the inspirations!

(2) CJM: You have performed with many different artists over the years, was there a specific experience or artist that really opened up your mind and allowed you to think of music in a new and different way?

Douglas: Playing with Horace Silver was a formative experience for me. Seeing and hearing him shape the music night after night taught me a lot about presenting music. Later on I was grateful to be hired by Don Byron, his curiosity and openness was a major eye opener. Tim Berne, John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Myra Melford, Han Bennink, Joe Lovano, Martial Solal, Vincent Herring, all of these musicians hired me at one time or another and have had a profound influence on my career as a musician. 

(3) CJM: Looking over your career so far you have appeared on more than 40 recordings and you have worked with musicians and groups in a wide range of genres. Do you have a particular style of music you enjoy the most or a style that brings out the most creativity in your playing?

Douglas: In all of my projects, I try not to be limited by style. In the 40 recordings I have made as a leader, my goal has been to make each one different and represent a distinct vision. I find the most stimulating thing for me is to be constantly challenged to re-evaluate everything. Every day to try to encounter music anew with fresh ears.

Read the rest here.