Sound It Out in NYC

I enjoyed a chance to play in NYC last weekend on the Sound It Out series at Greenwhich Music House with my trio, with Chris Tordini and Dan Weiss, along with special guest vocalist Fay Victor. We played some newer music and reworked some pieces from past trio albums, all of it expanded by Fay’s incredible artistry. The other set … Read more

Downbeat review of new trio CD

Somewhere In The Upstream, my latest trio CD on Clean Feed Records with Chris Tordini and Dan Weiss, and dedicated to Yusef Lateef, received a nice review in the May 2018 issue of Downbeat magazine. “Three master improvisers—Dessen on trombone and computer, bassist Christopher Tordini and drummer Dan Weiss—collaborate with help from a computer that acts both as an electronic roadmap … Read more

New trio CD on Clean Feed

I’m happy to announce that Clean Feed Records just released my newest trio CD, titled Somewhere In The Upstream. The music is dedicated to my former teacher, Yusef Lateef (1920-2013). This concert-length composition takes the form of a “scorestream,” in which score notations are displayed on screens for the improvisers to interpret, shifting with each performance. I wrote it for … Read more

MD Trio Concerts/Recording

I once asked Yusef Lateef what he practiced. He replied: “I try to discover things that I had not known before.” Somewhere In The Upstream is a piece for my trio, featuring incredible collaborators Chris Tordini and Dan Weiss. I dedicated this music to Yusef, a very important teacher of mine. (You can read about my perspective on Lateef in the … Read more

MD3 receives New Music USA award

I’m happy to announce that my trio has received a New Music USA Project Award! The award will help support performances and a recording centered around “Somewhere In The Upstream,” a composition I premiered with the trio last fall that is dedicated to and inspired by Yusef Lateef. I look forward to performing and recording this work with Chris Tordini … Read more

Somewhere In The Upstream

In November 2014, I  enjoyed performing two concerts in CA with my trio, featuring Chris Tordini and Dan Weiss, in which we premiered a new scorestream composition that was commissioned by the Fromm Foundation. Titled Somewhere In The Upstream, this piece is dedicated to my former teacher Yusef Lateef, who passed about a year ago. If you missed the concerts, you can … Read more

Downbeat and All About Jazz coverage

I’m grateful to be featured in a “players profile” by Joe Tangari in the current issue of Downbeat magazine. It’s subtitled “Interactive Systems” and he discusses my trio and my work with live electronics, as well as composing for telematic concerts. And my latest trio CD, Resonating Abstractions, was also reviewed this month in All About Jazz magazine by Robert Bush, … Read more

Resonating Abstractions CD cover

New CD: Resonating Abstractions

My new trio CD, titled Resonating Abstractions, is now out on Clean Feed Records. It’s a multi-part composition that was inspired by seven contemporary abstract painters and commissioned through Chamber Music America’s “New Jazz Works” award, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. It also features the phenomenal artistry of my collaborators, Christopher Tordini on bass and Dan Weiss on … Read more

Resonating Abstractions premieres

I had a fantastic time this past week on my trio tour with Christopher Tordini and Dan Weiss, performing 5 concerts to premiere a new composition, Resonating Abstractions, that was commissioned through Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works award. Thanks to everyone who came out and listened! Not only was it amazing (as always) to play with Chris and Dan, … Read more


Fromm Commission

I’m thrilled to have been awarded a 2012 Fromm Foundation Commission, and honored to be in the company of this year’s diverse array of recipients. The piece I’ll compose will be a scorestream (algorithmic, computer-displayed score) for trombone, bass and percussion with live electronics. It’ll involve some improvisation, but it’s not meant only for my own trio. Instead, I’m planning … Read more

Bi-coastal MD Trio tour

11/26-12/1, 2012: This fall I’m finishing a new composition for my trio titled Resonating Abstractions, which is based on work by seven contemporary abstract painters, and was commissioned through Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. We’ll premiere it in late November and early December on a tour with 5 concerts split across the … Read more

Hammer Museum Concert

Looking forward to a concert with my trio at the Hammer Museum in LA on Friday, Sept. 7, with free admission. Although Dan Weiss couldn’t make this date, I’m always excited for a chance to play with Jason Nazary, another fantastic drummer, along with the stupendous Chris Tordini on bass.