Entries by Paul Read

Russell Garcia – The Professional Arranger Composer

A significant number of jazz composers and arrangers I know and admire have credited Russ Garcia and his book, “THE PROFESSIONAL ARRANGER COMPOSER – Book 1” with having had a significant impact on their development as writers. I have owned a copy of this landmark, and hugely influential book for decades. I’ve looked through it […]

Bird Lives

I am currently (re)reading “Bird Lives” by Ross Russell. First published in 1973, this book is considered by many as one of the gold standard jazz biographies. In this case, the biography is of Charlie Parker who died just months shy of his 35th birthday. He was a genius of the first order; an incomparable […]

The “New” Normal

The New Normal There are times when I hear people write or say, “When will we find the new normal”. Usually in the context of hoping for an earliest possible end to the current pandemic. So I start wondering about “normal”. What ‘normal’ are we hoping to resurrect? Being able to go to the grocery […]

Imagination

The power of human imagination is tremendous, when one chooses to use it. For me, this is important and even essential while composing music. You imagine specific players playing in a specific situation and in your inner ear you hear their sound and you can imagine the situation to great advantage (when all your circuits […]

My Lessons with Gordon

Who was Gordon Delamont? A major figure in Canadian music history, Gordon (Gord) Delamont was a great and influential teacher. His list of notable students reads like a Canadian jazz composer/arranger all-star team. Wikipedia lists the following partial list:  Peter Appleyard, Gustav Ciamaga, Ron Collier, Jimmy Dale, Hagood Hardy, Herbie Helbig, Paul Hoffert, Moe Koffman, Rob McConnell, Ben McPeek, Bernie Piltch, Paul Read, Fred Stone, Norman Symonds, Rick Wilkins, Maribeth […]

Satchel Paige

I was reading a baseball magazine the other day and the wondrously accomplished Satchel Paige was highlighted at one point. The essay, published in a Sports Illustrated magazine (highly recommended) is titled, “Pitcher for the Ages”. The man started to play professionally at 26. His first year in the majors didn’t come until he turned […]

Faculty of Music posts #TBT article re UofTJazz

The Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and have started posting articles about the Faculty’s history. Today this article concerning the beginning of the Jazz Performance Degree Program in 1991 was published and brought back many memories. I was hired that year to design a new […]

50 Years at the Village Vanguard – an informal review.

The great Canadian trombonist, arranger, composer, educator, Terry Promane sent me an email this morning which mentioned the terrific book, “50 Years at the Village Vanguard”. I’ve read it and re-read many parts of it since it came out, as it references some of the most enjoyable,artful,and instructive (and SWINGING) music of my lifetime. When […]

Reflections re composing

When my early musical training was at its peak (1965-1973) I was listening to a lot of Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, the Mel Lewis/Thad Jones Big Band, Oscar Peterson, and many others. I though the Hanna/Fontana band was pretty cool. Under my father’s influence (his record collection) I listened to Louis Armstrong, Duke […]