Today, I viewed a 1975 video of the jazz band at York Mills Collegiate Institute where I taught from 1973-1979. I was 27 at the time of the performance on the video. They were playing Chick Corea’s “La Fiesta” arranged by trumpeter, Tony Klatka which was featured on Woody Herman’s “Giant Steps” album (yes it was vinyl) . The arrangement was so cool, I transcribed it and then presented it to the young guns at YMCI. They killed it!! These amazing teenagers sounded like 25-30 year olds. Piccolo? No problem. Soprano saxophone? No problem. Key of E (and A) concert? No problem. Up tempo 3? No problem. Names I remember from that band: Gary Boigon (tenor sax and soloist), Doug Buchanan (fender rhodes), Harry Blount (piccolo and baritone saxophone), Cathy Erwin (flugelhorn and trumpet), Janice (Jan) Dique (trumpet), Tom Cross (alto saxophone), John Johnson (alto saxophone and soprano solo), Steve Dick (drums), Marilyn Zeldin (trumpet). And then my memory fails. It was 40 years ago. In the event that anyone reads this blog and can add names, please drop me a line at


Thanks to Sheila Anderson-Massé, I can now add more names to those listed above:

trumpets: Richard Haberman, Joe Lin
trombones: Fred Lehner, Bill Meeker, Colleen Sheppard,Bryan Sher, Steve Vogler (did we have 5 trombones? Is one of these a tuba player or French horn?)
guitar: Ken Bassman
bass: Richard Stark

Students make wonderful teachers. You can take that two ways. Both are accurate.


Today, May 28, 2015,  I was named the recipient of the 2015 Muriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement in Music by the Toronto Arts Foundation. I am excited to receive this honour, particularly because I had zero expectations of winning the award. Thanks to all those who have called or sent messages of congratulations! For more information on the event please visit

Toronto Arts Foundation, a charitable organization, provides the opportunity for individuals, private and public foundations, corporations and government agencies to invest in and strengthen the arts in Toronto. They invite you to join in strengthening the City of Toronto through investment in the arts, enhancing and enlivening our city and enriching the lives of those within it.

Photo of me was taken by Denise Grant.

As one of the finalists, I had my name posted on a page today:

Honored to be considered!!

Last night (May 6, 2015) I attended a wonderful party put on by the TAF (Toronto Arts Foundation). I am proud to say that I am one of three finalists for this year’s Muriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement in Music. The other finalists are David Buchbinder and Vineet Vyas and I am very proud to be in such wonderful company. This is a career recognition for me and I have really been reflecting on all the years teaching and making music and all the rich experiences. How lucky I have been!!

From “An Autobiography” by Igor Stravinsky (1936)

The book wasn’t THAT well written but I did find some gems. (PR)

“It is very doubtful whether Rimsky-Korsakov [his teacher} would ever have accepted Le Sacre, or even Petroushka. Is it any wonder, then, that the hypercritics of today should be dumfounded by a language in which all the characteristics of their aesthetic seem to be violated? What, however, is less justifiable is that they nearly always blame the author for what is in fact due to their own lack of comprehension, a lack made all the more conspicuous because in their inability to state their grievance clearly they cautiously try to conceal their incompetence in the looseness and vagueness of their phraseology.”

Stravinsky, Igor (2011-05-24). An Autobiography (Kindle Locations 2190-2195). . Kindle Edition.

And when Stravinsky refers to “the hypercritics of today” remember this book was published in 1936.

THE BOOK IS IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN and is free to read on a Kindle.

From “An Autobiography” by Igor Stravinsky (1936)

“For me, as a creative musician, composition is a daily function that I feel compelled to discharge. I compose because I am made for that and cannot do otherwise. Just as any organ atrophies unless kept in a state of constant activity, so the faculty of composition becomes enfeebled and dulled unless kept up by effort and practice. The uninitiated imagine that one must await inspiration in order to create. That is a mistake. I am far from saying that there is no such thing as inspiration; quite the opposite. It is found as a driving force in every kind of human activity, and is in no wise peculiar to artists. But that force is only brought into action by an effort, and that effort is work. Just as appetite comes by eating, so work brings inspiration, if inspiration is not discernible at the beginning. But it is not simply inspiration that counts; it is the result of inspiration—that is, the composition.”

Stravinsky, Igor (2011-05-24). An Autobiography (Kindle Locations 2169-2175). . Kindle Edition.

From “An Autobiography” by Igor Stravinsky (1936)

I have just read this autobiography and I found many interesting comments and anecdotes. Here’s one:

“I should like to quote a remark of Rimsky-Korsakov’s that he made later on when I became his pupil. I asked him whether I was right in always composing at the piano. “Some compose at the piano,” he replied, “and some without a piano. As for you, you will compose at the piano.” As a matter of fact, I do compose at the piano and I do not regret it.”

Stravinsky, Igor (2011-05-24). An Autobiography (Kindle Locations 41-43). . Kindle Edition.

From “An Autobiography” by Igor Stravinsky (1936)

“I can never concentrate on my work if I am where I can be overheard, so that it was impossible for me to settle down with my piano in the boarding house in which I was staying with my family. I therefore chose this isolated place in the hope of finding peace and solitude, free from all importunate neighbors.”

Stravinsky, Igor (2011-05-24). An Autobiography (Kindle Locations 1786-1788). . Kindle Edition.


THE BOOK IS IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN and is free to read on a Kindle.

You know, it happened a long time ago (released in 1960 on Atlantic Records, catalogue SD 1311) but ‘Giant Steps” for all its rave reviews, critical reviews, detractors, supporters, worshippers, for all the tenor saxophonists who have practiced the first take solo to death, for all the reviews… is a momentus, gigantic recording that has a very narrow but Mile High seat of importance in the history of our music. Unique. Flawless. Impressive. Mind boggling, (add your own adjectives). SO LISTEN TO IT ONCE IN A WHILE, as though you’ve never heard it before. Imagine it recorded last week. IT STILL AMAZES. Trane…we love you!



Paul Read Orchestra (PRO)

Addo Jazz Recordings AJR005

Visit Addo Records Now!


Saxophones and Woodwinds: Andy Ballantyne, Tara Davidson, Alex Dean, Quinsin Nachoff, Bob Leonard
Trumpets: Jason Logue (lead), Chase Sanborn, Lina Allemano, Jim Lewis
Trombones: Terry Promane, William Carn, Andrew Jones, Larry Shields (bass tbn)
Rhythm Section: Geoff Young (g), David Braid (p), Andrew Downing (bs, vc), Kevin Dempsey (d)
Voice: Trish Colter

Composer and Conductor: Paul Read

For information, purchase or to check out excerpts, please visit