Dave Douglas on M-Base 12 tone style

Greenleaf Music

One thing I didn’t do was ask the players in the group to “improvise twelve tone style.” I think improvisation is about freedom in context so I wouldn’t presume to tell them how to play, I would only create the context in which it could happen.

Too much theory can be deadening. But in my own playing I found the theory useful as a launching pad for escaping the hegemony of the tonic.

I love the way DD is able to express himself in words as it relates to his music. “Too much theory can be deadening.” I like that concept, especially if you follow it through to the idea that “too much” can be a different amount for each musician. What is too much for me, might not be even close to enough for some of my saxophonist friends. Find your own balance.