Like most artists, I write what I hear and lately this has been a tremendous fusing of styles, including everything from post be-bop to the exuberant thrashings of ‘alternative rock’.
I cut my musical teeth playing all the local taverns, bars, clubs, and dives in “beer-land”. As my native area expanded from Florida to New Orleans and beyond, my musical influences reflected a growing stimulus. A little “Funk” here, a batch of ‘Zydeco’ there, stir in some Dixie Land, season with Be-Bop, flavor lightly with good old on the edge Rock and simmer with a “vicious through-down groove” and you have the primordial-musical-gumbo that provides the DNA of my musical groove.
After a stint as a student in the music department at Pensacola Junior College annoying the chairman of the music department with inappropriately syncopated rhythms for 4 voice chorals and Jazz counterpoint, the Good Doctor Whitmore implied I needed to find a “NEW” college.
His suggestions included Berklee College of Music. So, off I went -to the frozen environs of Boston Massachusetts and my new alma mater. Just across the Charles River, not far from both Harvard University and MIT is the world famous: Berklee College of Music.
Most of the stuff you used to read about Berklee was still true then:
a keen, highly competitive environment, world famous alumni and teachers – all professionals – some giants in their field – “eager evangelists” spreading the gospel of Jazz while still providing the traditional musical glue that provides the foundation of western music.
By the time I had graduated with my degree in composition I had written some traditional music pieces including a Symphonic Tone Poem for full Orchestra, Piano Sonata, Fugue, Motet and six works in smaller forms. Augment the writing schedule with the daily hours of instrumental practice, ensemble obligations, class, gigs and home- work and you have a full musical schedule not for the faint of heart; but, I digress [grin].
Over the years, long rehearsals, practice, road gigs, recording sessions, have all helped to ensure my “continuing” musical education. And, I’ve learned – just like Mark Twain said; to “never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
I am often asked; “Just how do you characterize your musical compositions?“
Well… others have likened my compositions to ‘Pat Metheny meets Mahavishnu’ or ‘Led Zeppelin ‘covers’ Miles Davis’ I just write what I’m hearing these days and I kinda of see it as the my contribution to continuing evolution of the Jazz Fusion movement.
EPK – Electronic Press Kit