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Remember optimism?

In 1966 I entered university at the age of 18. I have such clear memories of feeling close to my friends in those days, but there was a real and exciting feeling of closeness with ‘the movement’. We were going to affect change…serious social change…’ I was not involved in any serious way…I was too […]

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 […]

Amazing Times

I am not making this up. It is 10:12 a.m. as I start to write down these thoughts. I’ve been sitting in this spot pretty much continuously since 5:40 a.m.. I’ve been listening to music (headphones connected to an iPad) and marvelling at, and moved/excited by, the artistry of many. It’s easy to keep track […]

So what IS the News?

Where do you get your news? Mine comes from a few ‘outlets’ that I choose to read or listen to or to watch. I generally read newspaper articles (none of them on paper!), usually in the morning.  After that there is a steady stream of  ‘notifications’ that pop up on my ‘devices’ throughout the day. […]

Welcome to My New Site

Welcome to my new, and perhaps not your typical, website. As you can see if you’ve visited before, this site has been renovated recently. My thanks to Lucie Frigault for her expertise, good taste, patience and time on this project. This is my third site dating back quite a few years. Lucie has designed and […]

Quotes from Billy Strayhorn and Thad Jones

I found these on one of my hard drives today. Not sure of the source, but the words are pure gold: Billy Strayhorn – 1962 ” I have a general rule about arranging. Rimsky-Korsakov is the one who said it: All parts should lie easily under the fingers. That’s my first rule: to write something […]