Chris Minh Doky stands out as one of the most talented bass players in contemporary music. He is regarded among the masters of the upright bass widely recognized for his passionate delivery and extraordinary technical gifts. As expressed by Down Beat Magazine: "...there is a softness and grips clarity that is very different from the sound others derive from the acoustic instrument".
Doky carries on the distinct Danish bass tradition of the acoustic bass being a lead instrument with musical roots deriving from his love of American East Coast grooves and the lyric tradition of Scandinavia, Doky has developed a distinctive sound as well as created a style that is uniquely his own
Doky's rare ability to perform with equal creativity and dynamism as both a solo artist and as a sideman has put him on the list of Top Ten Bassists in Readers's Polls and earned him Artist of the Year awards as well as platinum-awarded sales.
Whether fronting his own band or playing with the most prominent artists of the day, Doky's bottom lines always seduce you with their compelling approach. His uncanny knack for being the music at times or complementing the group as a whole made him an integral part of the Michael Brecker Quartet from 2001 and the Mike Stern Band since the days Doky emerged as a player in the '90s New York jazz scene.
A knight of jazz became the latest honor for Doky after Queen Margrethe II of Denmark in 2010 made him a knight in the Order of the Dannebrog for his contributions to the arts. Two years earlier the international Ben Webster Foundation gave Doky its eponymous award for his jazz accomplishments through the years.
Doky spreads the word of jazz in places other than on stage and record. He hosts regular jazz programs on the public broadcaster DR's cultural TV channel and one of its radio stations. Since 2008 Doky has been artistic director of the DR Big Band. His creative input acts as the spark plug that has ignited new interest in the band and recruited new listeners.
Music was a family centerpiece when Doky entered the world in 1969, the son of a Danish mother and Vietnamese father. At the age of six he began playing classical piano and won several awards in local competitions. Fate stepped in one day in high school when he picked up an electric bass. Sparked by his love for groups like Earth, Wind & Fire, Doky began performing in different funk bands as a teen and got a taste for the stage as well as deeper understanding of music.
When Doky was 16, his epiphany came after listening to Miles Davis' My Funny Valentine. He switched over to his signature instrument, the acoustic bass, and was soon courted to play in Copenhagen jazz clubs he wasn't even old enough to get in to. Yearning to be closer to the root of the music he loved, Doky headed to New York shortly after his 18th birthday. He quickly landed studio and club gigs with other up- and-coming musicians around Manhattan.
His bass earned him a reputation as an excellent sideman and one of the most innovative soloists to hit the Big Apple in years. The big break came when Mike Stern invited Doky to join his band in 1991. The word spread from New York to the greater world of jazz and soon Doky found himself playing with great musicians he'd listened to in the early years: Michael Brecker, David Sanborn, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Mike Stern, Michele Camilo, Trilok Gurtu, Bireli Lagrene, John Scofield, Kenny Garret and more.
When Doky joined forces with his brother Niels Lan Doky in 1994 to form the Doky Brothers, it was nothing short of a second coming of jazz to Denmark and the sound was heard far beyond her borders. Signed to Blue Note, the duo's two albums drew a broader audience to jazz with an alluring balance of tradition and bold interpretation. Minh, Doky's first international solo album, raised his career to an even higher level in 1998. An extensive world tour followed, the first of many to come, either coaxing sumptuous notes from his beloved upright or letting go on his more assertive electric bass.
Scenes From A Dream is Doky's latest creation, an album he calls a milestone that could not have made before now--when the time was right. Some moments his upright is sparse to allow room for the music; other times it fills the air with a lush and urgent tenderness. Doky had one intention: "To be in the moment," which he shares with you the listener. Clearly the work of Chris Minh Doky, the album moves in a fresh direction and is another testament to the versatility Doky has previously demonstrated on albums such as the jazz-funk Listen Up, The Nomad Diaries with its electronica-jazz fusion and the vivid expression of Cinematique. As it is with the previous 10 solo albums, the latest set marks a new chapter in an ongoing volume of masterful bass playing--that's the bottom line.