I've been playing jazz for 40 years, first getting hooked on Wes Montgomery albums in terms of deciding to play the guitar at 19, just about the same age as Wes was when he first got mesmerized by Charlie Christian Having played accordion and piano at an earlier age, studying classical among other styles, I was drawn to synthesizers, as well as back to the piano for jazz, R&B and other musical styles, eventually building up a rather large collection of synths, as well as guitars, all this in a home recording studio environment. Because I had an intensive day job I had no great stretches of time to learn and hone my playing skills, but I did what I could at nights and weekends and holidays, burning the candle at both ends, so to speak, until I felt I was 'listenable' I was lucky to move to the New York City area from Oakland, California, my birthplace, in my early twenties. Jazz was very vibrant in both Manhattan and neighboring suburbs, including Newark, NJ. I began going to as many clubs as possible to listen and/or sit in with numerous famous organ players in the late 60s and early 70s. It was a great experience and great experience, too The advent of MIDI [Musical Instrument Digital Interface] gave me the tool I needed to advance my work on my one-man-band concept because I could get myriad sounds from the synths, record and edit tracks easily, as opposed to doing numerous takes on a multi-track tape recorder, setting up the backdrop for either live guitar or piano work, these also now recordable in the digital domain. Now I could 'convene the band' anytime and create music Dedicated Lines is my second CD release and features Mellenkamp drummer, Dane Clark, the first time I've had any sort of collaboration. There's little doubt that Dane's work, and the fact that it's live drumming, greatly adds to the musical experience. I didn't have to worry about programming a drum machine, and I got so much more nuance and realism from Dane's contributions. He's a superb stickman My first album, Electric City, featured synthesizer work with guitar intersticed ; Dedicated Lines features guitar more equally overall, and more dominantly so in the lead role. The album title is meant as a triple entendre, one dealing with electrical circuit terminology, the other two as tribute [text in the notes and titles; and the musical lines themselves] to some of the musicians, mostly guitarists in this album's case, that significantly influenced me, either in terms of playing, or composition or both For me, composition is as important as music. It's nice to have the chops to play, but there has to be something inspiring to play, else there is less reward for both player and listener. These are all original pieces that simply flowed out of my desire to want to play them Music is a labor of love for me - I don't do it to make a living, and have never considered that proposition - I've been lucky enough to make a living alongside my passion. The bonus to this approach is that I can tender my own compositions without constraints You're hearing what I really want to play the way I want to play it, as I'm my toughest critic. While I've released this material willingly there are numbers of things I wished I'd done differently, but to edit and edit, and retake, inevitably blunts any sort of spontaneity, which is especially hard to maintain if one's playing all the instruments and therefore knows each musician 'rather well'. Nevertheless I like this album or I'd have not released it. I hope you like it, too.
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