Wednesday, October 18, 2006

off the leash

Dave Douglas says:

"I get disappointed when I go to Europe," Douglas says, "and I'm sitting in some cafe and I'm talking with the musicians and promoters and somebody says: 'Isn't it ironic that the country that gave us this music is only capable of looking back? In America, it's all about playing Louis Armstrong music, recreating the 50s, and wearing old-fashioned suits.' I hear this all the time. I'm trying to prove that there is also progressive music in the U.S."
European arrogance/generalisation is as insufferable and ignorant as its American counterpart.

"What we do now on the frontier of composed and improvised music," he says, "has to do with learning a lesson from all that crazy experimental freedom in the 60s and 70s. We're learning to harness that and most 'free' music has some sense of structure now."

He is about to expound on that, when his dog Finley arrives on the porch barking loudly. He stops to hook a leash on her collar. But then he does not attach it to anything. Although Finley is free to drag her chain around, she doesn't. It strikes me as a kind of metaphor for harnessed improvisational freedom. Whatever, the dog stops barking.

I'm looking forward to seeing Douglas for the first time soon.

[via Greenleaf]