My vision for this album came as I drank coffee in a German train station. I was returning to New York after touring with my quartet. My idea: To use three quartets to create a conversation between the world of contemporary classical composition and that of modern jazz composition and improvisation. Autumn would be my theme.
Carrying out my plan, I first composed twelve pieces for my quartet and recorded them in Copenhagen. Each piece begins with a different note, generating a twelve-tone row I used in various parts of the compositions. Later, in New York, building on the fluid performances and improvisations in those recordings, I composed, conducted and recorded pieces for classical string and woodwind quartets to be superimposed on the jazz performances.
The first piece is for solo guitar. Each subsequent piece adds one instrument, culminating in a finale (for twelve musicians) in which the twelve-tone row structures the entire composition. Among other compositional techniques I employed were aleatoricism, minimalism and serialized rhythms, pitches and dynamics. Always I focused on the beautiful melody and harmony suggested to me by autumn’s permutations.
This musical journey begins with the shifting light of early autumn and continues with a tranquil stroll at dusk. The season’s tiniest composers appear after dark.
The mystery of the animal kingdom’s autumn journey coincides with the season’s changing leaves. Birds call and fly in grand formation through sunlight, clouds, rain and blustery winds.
The autumn wind carries sounds from near and far. Moonbeams penetrate the deep forest. Sunrise reveals farm fields covered with snow. Chimney smoke rises against the blue sky in bright sunlight. With night, stars sparkle and flare. The aurora borealis paints the sky.
The journey ends in quiet reflection.
Scott DuBois, the 37-year old American jazz guitarist and composer, is one of the most important figures on the young New York jazz scene. The New York Times has praised the way that DuBois “has begun to make waves” with his “exploratory yet melodic sensibilities, serious compositional ambitions,” and “cohesive looseness against complex subtleties.”
DuBois studied at the Manhattan School of Music. He made his first mark alongside saxophonist David Liebman, who appeared on DuBois's albums for the Soul Note record label, “Monsoon” (2005) and “Tempest” (2007). DuBois's quartet, with whom he has now been working for the past decade, consists of some of the world's most in-demand improvising musicians: German saxophonist and bass clarinetist Gebhard Ullmann, American bassist Thomas Morgan, and Danish drummer Kresten Osgood. This regular working band performs DuBois's masterfully-crafted original compositions which point to future trends. Their focus is to present these powerful works with dynamic group improvisation and interaction, creating massive, colorful landscapes and a spiritual intensity that cuts straight to the heart.
The guitarist's first five albums have received major critical acclaim. “Black Hawk Dance” earned the maximum 5-star rating from DownBeat Magazine. His next album, “Landscape Scripture,” was one of the "Top Ten Jazz Albums of 2012" as selected by the highly influential coast-to-coast American network, National Public Radio.
The New York City Jazz Record has described DuBois's writing as “captivating music for the meditative thinker.” This telling expression goes quite some way towards unlocking its essence, since the guitarist composes in an associative way, through pictures.