Born: February 27, 1948 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
I am a trumpet player/composer from the greater New Haven, Conn. area. I was strongly attracted to the sound of the trumpet at an early age and began trumpet lessons at the age of 16.
I was first influenced by traditional jazz players such as Louis Armstrong and Bobby Hackett, and started sitting in with local Dixieland bands at about 19yrs. old. Later on, after a U.S. Navy tour of duty, and being introduced to more modern (Bebop) jazz, I returned home and began sitting in at jam sessions at local jazz clubs and meeting local jazz musicians including Michael Gregory and Dicky Myers. At this time my interests and influences were changing to more strait ahead type jazz. I did a great deal of listening to the music of Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and much of mainstream bop and post bop.
After hearing Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew I became attracted to more Funk oriented rhythms on the radio, and joined a series of R & B Funk bands, while still frequenting the local jazz clubs sessions. I was looking for something more than just standards, although I enjoyed working with them, and became very attracted to the funk rhythms.
Later, I got to hear and meet Wadada Leo Smith and was introduced to the more free creative music. I eventually joined the CMIF (Creative Musicians Improvisers Forum) started up by Leo Smith as a sort of spinoff of the Chicago based AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians). Through several concerts and performances of the CIO (Creative Improvisers Orchestra), I met and performed with a number of creative musicians such as Carla Bley, Slide Hampton, Richard Muhal Abrams, Oliver Lake, Amina Claudine Myers, Leroy Jenkins, Ray Anderson, Mario Pavone, Marty Ehrlich, and others. I was also doing some playing with Dwight Andrews, Anthony Davis, and Pheeroan AkLaff in local clubs and workshops, as well as with Michael Gregory.
Eventually the CMIF disbanded and I began to loose interest in the repetition with most of the local club scene. I occasionally played with Michael Mills and The Children of the Sun (a Creative drum ensemble), and did some local jamming with recording artists Marion Meadows and Rhon Lawrence, but for the most part I began getting more interested in composing in my home studio.
My listening interests by this point, had expanded to include classical composers such as Charles Ives, Toru Takamitsu, George Crumb, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Philip Glass, John Cage, Igor Stravinsky, and other classical composers, as well as several motion picture scores by John Williams, Vangelis, Peter Gabriel, Danny Elfman, and Brian Eno. I also began to listen to many world musics. As a result, my writing began taking on a kaleidoscope of all of my previous musical interests & influences. A melting pot of avant gard & mainstream jazz, classical forms & structures, New Age colors, world rhythms, free forms & funk.
My album, Spiritual Awakenings, exhibits some of the first manifestations of the blending of the influences mentioned above. In particular, my friends Michael Gregory and Leo Smith, as well as other musician friends of mine, encouraged me to put this music out. I am very grateful for this, since it has been a very rewarding experience, and a wonderful beginning to a journey into the compositional side of my creative inner self.
Spiritual Awakenings is a well considered tone poem, one that was well thought out by the composer as well as well executed. This music is of the same ilk as sushi metaphysically, transcending the ordinary consumption for a higher realization and appreciation in texture and consistency. All About Jazz
This is like a soul foot-bath for those whose spirits may be dog-tired in these times. Go seek out Spiritual Awakenings. It's well worth the journey. -Carol Anne Szel Inside Connection Magazine
This is one of those riskier journeys on the border between jazz and new age, similar to the work that trumpeter Don Cherry or Yusef Lateef did. Definitely great listening - DL New Age Voice
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