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Dominic Duval: Follow Your Melody

By Published: October 4, 2010
Future Plateaus

AAJ: So, is jazz alive?

DD: Well, it is in my life.

AAJ: Many people, including some musicians, are saying it is not.

DD: These are defeated people. If you look at that term jazz—and listen—even the great Joe McPhee will, when speaking about jazz, say jazz is in a box. Music does not have to be that way. Music can be structured and still have that freedom which improvised music has. You just have to be good enough to make it appear that way.

AAJ: That was something I really hoped to hear, thanks. What about future plateaus on your journey?

DD: Well, of course, there's Trio X, which is dear to my heart and a big part of my life. I'd like very much to do more with Trio X. My collaborations with Joe McPhee and Jay Rosen have been very enjoyable, as well as fruitful. I have other relationships or musical interests of course—a duo with Ivo Perelman
Ivo Perelman
Ivo Perelman
, with whom I enjoy working very much. There will be a lot more from Ivo and I.

A guitar trio with Tim Siciliano [guitar], and a young drummer named Chris Covis. We will be recording and touring for Wild Rose Studios and Records located in Oregon, in March, 2011. More to come on that, at a later time.

Jimmy Halperin is one of my favorite saxophone players. One of the most gifted people I've ever come across. I've known Jimmy for almost 30 years, and his development is truly spectacular. There's a lot more to come from Jimmy and I, including the project we might put together on NoBusiness Records—some of Charles Mingus' material. But these things take time. Mingus wrote music for the gods; mostly large ensemble arrangements. Doing them in a duo will take some thought, as well as patience on our part. All this takes rehearsal; they take thought, as well as organization.

I have said many times that music is mostly about organization. Choosing repertoire, deciding how to play this repertoire, all these things. I mean look, you guys at NoBusiness just put out a Monk record of ours—that's a very well constructed and organized recording. In terms of my playing, it allows you to hear the music without it being too rigid. I'd like to play more music like this. To incorporate virtuosity with a freedom of the more flexible improvisational style associated with free/modern jazz styles. All this while still maintaining the ideas of the composer. I enjoy working within these ideals and styles. It's very challenging to me.

So if you are asking me, "What should people expect from me," hopefully more of the same, but different. To continue to build on a body of work that [listeners] as well as performers think is excellent. I don't know how else to put it. I just want to make good music. Ellington said "There are just two types of music—good and bad." I want to make good music. I don't have any major plans for having any large bands, huge orchestrations. It might happen. I just might find the time in my life and reasons for doing something like this, but right now it's just to make the best music that I can make. And utilizing all my abilities, which are getting to be more and more extensive.

Selected Discography
Dominic Duval/Jimmy Halperin, Music of John Coltrane (NoBusiness Records, 2010)
Dominic Duval/Cecil Taylor, The Last Dance Volumes 1 and 2 (Cadence Jazz Records, 2009)
Charles Gayle/Dominic Duval/Arkadij Gotesman, Our Souls. Live In Vilnius (NoBusiness Records, 2009)
Dominic Duval/Jimmy Halperin, Monk Dreams (NoBusiness Records, 2009)
Trio X, Live in Vilnius 2L (NoBusiness Records, 2009)
Michael Jefry Stevens/David Schnitter/Dominic Duval/Jay Rosen, For the Children (Cadence Jazz Records, 2008)
Dominic Duval/Jimmy Halperin, Monkinus (CIMP, 2007)
Ivo Perelman/Dominic Duval, Nowhere To Hide (Nottwo, 2008)
Dominic Duval/Ron Lawrence/Gregor Huebner/Tomas Ulrich, Mountain Air (CIMP, 2007)
Dominic Duval, Songs For Krakow (Nottwo, 2007)
Paul Smoker/Ed Schuller/Dominic Duval, Duocity In Brass And Wood (Cadence Jazz Records, 2004)
Trio X, Journey (CIMP, 2003)
Dominic Duval String & Brass Ensemble, American Scrapbook (CIMP, 2002)
Ivo Perelman/Dominic Duval/Mark Dresser/Jay Rosen/Gerry Hemingway, Double Trio (Boxholder, 2001)
Dominic Duval's Quintet, Cries And Whispers (Cadence Jazz Records, 2001)
Cecil Taylor/Dominic Duval / Jackson Krall, All The Notes (Cadence Jazz Records, 2000)
Cecil Taylor Quartet, Qu'a Yuba (Cadence Jazz Records, 2000)
Trio X, Watermelon Suite (CIMP 1999)
Bob Magnuson/Tom DeSteno/Jemeel Moondoc/Dominic Duval, Omens (CIMP 1999)
Trio X, Rapture (Cadence Jazz Records, 1998)
Joe McPhee & Dominic Duval, The Dream Book (Cadence Jazz Records, 1998)
Dominic Duval/C.T. String Quartet, Navigator (Leo Records, 1998)
Dominic Duval, Nightbird Inventions (Cadence Jazz Records, 1997)
Dominic Duval's String Ensemble, State Of The Art (CIMP, 1997)
Michael Jefry Stevens/Dominic Duval Quartet, Elements (Leo Records, 1996)

Photo Credits
Dominic Duval
Page 3: Courtesy of NoBusiness Records
Page 5: Peter Gannushkin, Downtown Music Gallery
Page 7: Susan Oconor
Page 8: Frank Rubolino

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