Recalling Jazz Standards

Tenor Saxophonist, Grant Stewart

I had the pleasure of playing with tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart on Tuesday evening at the Northampton Jazz Workshop. It is interesting our paths hadn’t crossed before, given that Grant and I are both originally from Canada. He’s a really solid player with a firm grasp of the hard bop vocabulary of tenor titans like Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley etc. Despite being situated in the lounge of a Spare Time Bowling Alley, they’ve…

We Demand Action

Rally to End Gun Violence

Three mass shootings in one week, not to mention countless other gun related deaths (suicides, domestic violence, homicides, accidents, etc.) — Is this enough to incite change and spur our lawmakers into action?

Essential Jazz Reading: Notes and Tones, by Arthur Taylor

Notes and Tones, a book of jazz interviews by Art Taylor

Even now, after having studied and played jazz music for more than three decades, there’s still plenty I will admit to not knowing about the art form, and the context in which much of it was created. I was drawn to this music in the late 1980’s, as a Canadian teenager who loved what he heard, but who was somewhat oblivious to the ongoing racial strife in America. Sure, I read plenty of biographies and…

Arranging “Dig In Buddy”

the original music for "Dig In Buddy," a song by Tyler Hornby

Tyler Hornby, a drummer based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, hired me to write a big band arrangement of his composition, “Dig In Buddy.” When it was completed, I decided to adapt it to perform and record with my own 10-piece band. Here is the final version, as it was recorded on my new album “Open Borders,” which is available now through CD Baby. As I listen back to this arrangement, I can hear and am reminded…

Mirror of the Mind

Although recorded previously with my Creative Opportunity Workshop quartet, the 10tet version of this piece came first. It was composed in 2012, as part of a collaborative venture with visual artists Deborah Dancy and Ted Efremoff. I wanted to write something suggestive of Aaron Copeland – big and open sounding, to complement the grandiose feeling of mountains reflected on a lake, as portrayed in their projected images. Listening to and studying Aaron Copeland scores got…