Dave Douglas’ Mountain Passages is an album of music inspired by the myths and the spirit of rural mountain culture. The first live performance of the material, which features Dave’s band NOMAD, took place high in the Italian Dolomites, as part of the festival I Suoni delle Dolomitti. Partially inspired by Douglas’ love of world folk music, Mountain Passages also carries the spirit of jazz that informs all of Dave’s music. The record is a profound and playful mix that veers between the solemnity of solitary contemplation and the drunken debauchery of ecstatic celebration. The ensemble of trumpet, clarinet, cello, tuba and percussion, envisioned as an imaginary traveling band, play 12 stunning new Douglas compositions making Mountain Passages Douglas’ most emotive new work since the very popular “Charms of the Night Sky” recording.
Dave's program notes:
What is it? The festival at The Sound of the Dolomites asked me to write music which would be played between nine and twelve thousand feet. And they told me we'd be hiking. They also sent a recording of their local Ladino music. Like all great music it raised more questions than it answered, but it seemed to veer between solemn devotional calmness and riotous drunken celebration.
This seemed like an imaginary gig, imaginary mountain music, until it happened: in the middle of August 2003 all of us hiked up to Rifugio Boè in Valle di Fassa and the Rifugio Brentei neat Madonna di Campilglio. And played this music for hundreds of fans who had hiked up to hear us. It was one of the most exhilarating musical experiences I've ever had.
My father was a mountain runner and map maker, and in 1980 he wrote a letter to the Woodstock Times defending his passion against those who thought it was unseemly to be running over the trails. I think he would have enjoyed this music. I wrote it with him in mind. Sadly, he never got to hear it, leaving this earth less than a month after the premiere. I think he was probably pleased the way he went - quickly, doing what he lover most. In many ways, this music is for Damon.
released January 25, 2005
Produced by Dave Douglas
Executive Producers: Dave Douglas & Michael Friedman
Recorded June 26, 2004 at The Factory Studios, Vancouver, BC
Recorded by Sheldon Zaharko
Assisted by Liam May
Mixed by Joe Ferla at Bear Tracks, Suffern, NY
Assisted by Eric Carlinksy
Mastered by Mark Wilder at Sony Studios, New York
Cover and Package Design by Steve Byram / Jerry Hutchison
All compositions by Dave Douglas (Noenmity, BMI)
Dave Douglas, trumpet
Michael Moore, alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet
Peggy Lee, cello
Marcus Rojas, tuba
Dylan van der Schyff, drums
A complete set of sheet music is available including all of the Douglas compositions on this album. Download the lead sheets as PDFs here: bit.ly/SM_MountainPassages