Re:Visions – the Title

There is an intentional double entendre in the title “re:Visions”:

1) Regarding Visions:

I believe I have a clear vision of what I am setting out to do as a composer. Although I consider myself well schooled in the past, I aim to produce innovative, forward-thinking, passionate music that is current and relevant today, rather than merely trying to recreate the sounds and rhythms of my predecessors. I aim for my work to serve as a continuance and logical extension from the lineage of jazz big band writing. My vision is to create and present an original body of work for jazz orchestra which is devoid of the traditional and habitual clichés so prevalent in the published repertoire for this instrumentation. I see the importance of consciously fusing jazz with other musical styles, so that jazz becomes strengthened and more interesting through cross-pollination, rather than weakened by inbreeding. I hope to offer the world something new, unique and compelling – beyond the conceptual boundaries of jazz – which in turn captures the imaginations of others.

2) Revisions:

For one reason or another I tend to revisit the music I write and tweak it over time. Sometimes it takes a while to get it just right. I often “try out” new pieces with the student ensembles I direct. The students benefit from working directly with a composer in the creative process, and I learn from the feedback they are more than happy to offer. Plus, I am more inclined to take risks in my writing when I have the luxury of trying it out first, before bringing it to the professionals.  Three of the pieces on this album originally date back to my time on the road with Maynard Ferguson (1998 – 2000). Many of the remaining tracks were developed, revised and reworked within the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop in which I actively participated in 2003-04 and 2006-07.

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