First and foremost, I thank my wife Jana, for her love, support and patience. I am so blessed to have you.
Mike Holober was the perfect choice as producer and conductor. Mike, I appreciate all that you did, from assisting me in selecting the right musicians, to getting the best out of everyone in the studio. You are a class act and a musician’s musician.
My time in the BMI Jazz Composer’s Workshop was highly beneficial. Thank you to Jim McNeely, Michael Abene, Mike Holober and the workshop participants for inspiring and challenging me to explore new musical territory.
A special thanks goes to Craig & Jim Brenan, for their friendship and generosity in traveling all the way from Alberta, Canada to be a part of this project. Their recent Brenan Brothers CD, “The Throw Down” is one of my current favorites and is highly recommended listening.
On several occasions, my friend Tony Hyde kindly asked me to bring music to the recording sessions of his Equinox Jazz Orchestra in Boston. The sessions and their resultant demos were always very insightful, and led to important revisions. Thanks Tony!
Over the years I have had many inspiring, first-rate teachers — both on the piano and in arranging and composition. I thank each of you.
Piano: Charlie Banacos, Fred Hersch, Kenny Barron, Andre White, Luc Beaugrand, Shirely Kwok Yip, George Laks
Arranging: Jim McNeely, Michael Abene, Mike Holober, Michael Philip Mossman, Christopher Smith, Jan Jarczyk & Kevin Dean.
Although not a formal teacher of mine, Winnipeg-based trumpeter, Frank Burke took me under his wing years ago, and taught me many lessons (about the use of brass mutes, articulation markings and life) in rehearsals and over bowls of deluxe wanton soup at the Marigold restaurant. I greatly value his continued friendship and mentoring.
There were so many pleasant musical surprises resulting from uniting seventeen brilliant, creative, musical improvisers for this project. I was incredibly fortunate to assemble such a fine band. The music was truly invigorated as a result of our collaboration. Many important lessons were imparted and gleaned from the musician’s suggestions, which impacted and shaped the music for the better. A warm thank you goes to each of you.
Proof reading and grant writing suggestions by my UConn Music Department colleagues, Drs. Glenn Stanley, Robert Stephens and Mary Ellen Junda were very helpful and appreciated.
This recording was made with support from:
the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism,
the University of Connecticut Vice President for Research Office,
the School of Fine Arts Dean’s Grants
Lastly, I have the greatest two parents in the world. Their support, encouragement and trust has made me the man I am today. Thanks Mom and Dad!