Entries by Paul Read

Jazz Composers Present Listening Session Live Stream

I will be featured on a Jazz Composers Present livestream Listening Session on Sunday, May 21st at 1:00pm EST. During conversation with composer Chelsea McBride, I will be sharing and discussing 4 wonderful recordings of compositions by Mike Malone, Fred Stride, the late Jim Knapp as well an arrangement by Michael Abene of a Charles […]

Spring Training 2023

For me, the arrival of spring training is among the most pleasant experiences of any year (that and the Masters golf tournament every April). So I felt the familiar joys of approaching spring as the first games of 2003 were played yesterday. As a result, I thought I’d like to share a link to a […]


In May 2022, Paul received the Distinguished Service Award from The International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers (ISJAC). This recognizes his 3 years as the curator of the ISJAC blog: a tremendous resource containing articles and commentary by some of the great jazz composers and arrangers of our time. Their blog continues to develop and […]

THE PROCESS: Getting Started, Keeping it Going and Finishing

I’ll be presenting a short talk for the Canadian Jazz Composers Workshop on September 18, 2021. I’ve always been very interested in the processes used by composers and arrangers in any genre. I’ll be talking about my own processes within the general headings of Getting Started (some of things I use), How to Keep it […]

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 […]


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 […]