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Riverside, A New Collaborative Project Co-Led By Trumpeter DAVE DOUGLAS & Saxophonist CHET DOXAS
(Published: February 03, 2014)

Anyone who has followed the career of trumpeter Dave Douglas, knows that he has been strongly influenced by and paid his own tributes to a wide range of music - from Lester Bowie to Mary Lou Williams to Joni Mitchell to Booker Little to Don Cherry and Wayne Shorter. However, few to date know of his admiration for the late clarinetist and erstwhile saxophonist Jimmy Giuffre. Douglas, like Giuffre, constantly reinvents himself, never allowing himself to be defined by one project or association.

Similarly, Douglas' main collaborator in Riverside, Canadian saxophonist Chet Doxas has led a career of great variety - from touring with Canadian pop and folk singers Sam Roberts and Rufus Wainwright to leading bands with Canada's leading jazz players such as Oliver Jones and Guido Basso as well as stints with American jazz stars Maria Schneider, Joe Lovano, Jason Moran, and Bill Stewart.

Originally, Giuffre became well-known in the music world for his role in the Woody Herman Thundering Herd (most notably for writing the swing era hit, "Four Brothers"). Over time, Giuffre revealed himself to be one of the most forward-thinking musicians in jazz. He went on to became one of Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars, formed a Western swing trio with valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer and guitarist Jim Hall (appearing in the film, Jazz on a Summer's Day at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival). Later he would form his groundbreaking Jimmy Giuffre 3 with pianist Paul Bley and bassist Steve Swallow focusing on the quieter, more subtle side of "free jazz." This group influenced many small groups to come after it - including Douglas' own small bands of the 1990s and 2000s, but never more evidently as on Riverside.

As it turned out, Chet Doxas shared a love and mutual admiration for Giuffre's work. Unbeknownst to Doxas, Douglas had previously worked on charts for a Giuffre-inspired project that was never recorded. After meeting at the Banff Centre when Douglas was Director, Doxas invited him to play, and they found their shared interest to be a perfect match. "For me," Doxas says, "it was his trio with Bley and Swallow. I quickly started studying his earlier work with Shorty Rogers, moving my way forward until his reunion record with Bley and Swallow, Fly Away Little Bird."

The quartet, co-led by Douglas, on trumpet, and Doxas, on clarinet and tenor saxophone, has a rhythm section comprised of Steve Swallow (a former member of the Jimmy Giuffre 3) on electric bass and Jim Doxas (Chet's brother and frequent collaborator) on drums. Riverside blends a love for improvised music, bluegrass, sacred hymns and Appalachian music to create an aesthetic rooted in both Americana and jazz.

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