Do you remember when an album cover alone could compel you to listen to just about anything? I was 5 yrs old, sitting mid the floor-sprawl of my dad’s records. A transparent ruby-red lp disc of Finlandia spun on the player. The sound enveloped me in waves and I was looking at the album cover – a painted forest that I walked into deeper and further beyond the shafts of sunlight until I completely disappeared. Some part of me never returned; that sector devoted to having a modicum of common-sense to get through life (sensibly), find my sax neckstrap, and remember to turn off the iron.
Music has been the sustaining passion since childhood and there are players/composers in pockets of space and time I keep coming back to like healing fountains and reminders of what could be; Lester Young 1936-1945, Sonny Rollins 1956(phewww!), Coltrane’s Crescent, Pharoah Sanders, Isaac Albeniz’ Iberia, Debussy, Bach’s Cello Suites, Puccini, Sam Cooke, Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, Hamza El-Din, Fred Neil, Planxty, The Bothy Band, Martin Hayes, Love’s Forever Changes, Donovan, Joao Gilberto, Jolie Holland….
I love to learn and love to teach; particularly enjoy teaching improvisation to the newly curious of all ages.
Listen: At Swim – Two Birds
Favorite Quotes About Music
“She had learned in her childhood to fondle and cherish those long sinuous phrases of Chopin, so free, so flexible, so tactile, which begin by reaching out and exploring far outside and away from the direction in which they started, far beyond the point which one might have expected their notes to reach, and which divert themselves in those fantastic bypaths only to return more deliberately — with a more premeditated reprise, with more precision, as on a crystal bowl that reverberates to the point of exquisite agony — to clutch one’s heart.” – Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way (1913-27)
“Think about a note and then don’t play it.” – Miles Davis
“I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve.” – Xavier Cugat (Of course, this is not my personal philosophy. By the way, does anyone know where I can get a chart for Chiquita Banana?)
John Renbourn – gent, scholar, guitarist extraordinaire
Wardell Gray – dedicated to another idol, the brilliant tenor saxophonist Wardell Gray. The sound clip with Count Basie says it all!
Bratsch– gypsy-music-based band from France
Tom Killion– if you’ve ever been up the coast of California you’ll appreciate this artist.
John Paul Caponigro– music for the eye!
Jeremy Lipking – great painterly painter!
Ken Nordine – site of the inimitable Ken Nordine
Lord Buckley – site dedicated to one of the GONEST cats ever to grace this sweet swingin SPHERE!
Jeanne Eagels – dedicated to a brilliant, forgotten stage and screen actress of the 20’s