Doug Wollman. Gifted composer. Talented keyboardist. Visionary Leader. Caring husband to his wife Stacey and their four children Dylan, Shelby, Whitney and Nathan. All of the above phrases give you a word picture of this man who is passionate about his faith, family and music.
It is Doug's strong family ties and spiritual commitment that shaped his life from an early age. Born and raised in South Dakota, much of his inspiration comes for the beauty of creation and his deep love for his state and country.
Doug began to nurture his God given music ability early on in his life. His parents recognized his musical talents and supported his desire to play the keyboard. Doug played weekly in his home church's worship band, performed at local events and venues, traveled with the WRECK youth band. In 2002 he joined singer/song writer Ken Verheecke with Wind and Wheat Music, touring across the United States adding his keyboard gifts to the inspiring acoustic sound of Ken. He recently lent his talents to Ken Verheeke's Heartcall Music release "Taken by the Wind...songs of intimate worship vol. 2." http://heartcall-music.com
Doug has an innate ability to create and set different moods with his music. He uses the Korg Triton Pro as his instrument of Praise. He acknowledges God who has given him the ability to write and compose and it is Doug's desire to give it all back to God.
Doug's Debut release on Wind & Wheat Music is titled "Face of the Deep" is an instrumental recording that celebrates the beauty of creation. "Face of the Deep" is sure to encourage, uplift and touch you deep within your soul! The same holds true for Doug's newest instrumental release "Awakening of Dreams".
DOUG WOLLMAN. Face of the Deep. Wind and Wheat Music (2003)
review by Bill Binkelman
A couple of things impressed me about keyboard player Doug Wollman's Face of the Deep. One is that I can't believe all the instruments on this CD, with the exception of guest artist Ken Verheecke's guitar, are played on Wollman's Korg keyboards. The drums sound especially real, and I have heard more than enough crappy programmed drums to know what I'm talkin' 'bout, Willis. The other thing that is impressive is how accomplished this album is as a total package. While I didn't love the entire disc, I can't find much to fault in it, either. Wollman excels in several areas. He can craft a killer hook (many of these adult contemporary instrumentals have deliciously catchy refrains and infectious rhythms). Also, he uses "spacy" sounding synthesizers in unusual yet satisfying ways, by layering them in as minimal texturing among the more "traditional" musical elements. On headphones, this mixing of "pure" electronic music and drums, piano, guitars, etc. is a kick.
In more than a few places, Face of the Deep reminded me of the work from the now-defunct duo Val Gardena. Wollman's music is not "jazz" and, while it has some progressive fusion elements (especially when Verheecke cranks up the juice on his gee-tar), I hesitate to put it in that genre either. Hence the comparison to Val Gardena. Their music was likewise difficult to classify, spanning new age, adult contemporary, and smooth jazz. However, Wollman is intent on a more "aggressive" style of music. While some cuts have laid-back moments, others have plenty of "rock" to them. Also, there is no sense of the urban rhythm 'n' blues of smooth jazz anywhere.
From the opening "Ariel Visions" which segues from a lovely rolling piano intro to a full-out put-the-top-down pulsing drive-time number anchored by those great sampled trap set drums, to the moody new age-ish "Whispering Pines" with flitting keyboards, ballad-like rhythms, and somber yet stinging electric guitar leads, Wollman (and Verheecke) display considerable talent across a wide spectrum of musical styles and tempos. The title track features lots of nice synth textures (such as a repeating "sonar-like" beeping sound), piano, and midtempo hand drums. "Restoration at Wounded Knee" begins with a sampled Native American flute, soon joined by plaintive piano, while later on, drums and bass enter the cut as it dials up the intensity - although not too much. Wollman even throws in some jazzy/bluesy riffing on piano! "Time of Visitation" is a mellow piano and synth cut, and offers a change of pace since the rhythm "section" on this song is more subdued than many of the other offerings here.
Missteps are minor ones. I don't know about the solo violin sample on "Land of the Living" and I also think some of the "arena rock" guitar antics on the track may prove jarring for the more "genteel" listener. Also, the "war" sound effects that open "Weapons of Mass Construction" would be better taken out, as far as I'm concerned. There are other spots on the CD where the electric guitar could be toned down in the mix, although that's just my personal preference, not an objective assessment (lots of people love amped-up guitar).
The other thing I'll mention is that if you saw this album in a store, and judged it by its cover, you might think it'd be pretty laid-back and new agey. Trust me, this is much closer to a harder-rocking version of, for example, Craig Chaquico than to any new age music recording. Unlike Chaquico, though, Wollman offers up more variety in his songs. While Wollman's music is imminently listenable, it's not in the same "top 40 instrumental" vein as Chaquico's efforts. Wollman is both reaching a little higher and digging a little deeper under the surface with Face of the Deep. Combine those imaginative synth textures with songs that can veer off in different directions without any warning, shifting tempo and mood at a moment's notice, and you have an exciting album, yet one that is never off-putting or "out there" in the least. And, as I mentioned earlier, this is one perfect driving CD for your car and the open road. All in all, it's a promising start for Wollman - a solid effort all around. Recommended.
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Well, that's my review! I hope you enjoy great music...hopefully including mine!