“As a child I loved Yes as well as Emerson, Lake, and Palmer and other prog bands as well as Peter Gabriel, but for me the stylings and sheer volume of The Jimi Hendrix Experience were much more exciting.”
“Are You Experienced and Electric Lady Land had a rawness and burn that I had not heard, even from more contemporary groups, as I was growing up listening to the turntable at home. The spastic and tight bouncy drumming, the pop sensibilities, the insane squeal and feedback of guitar; their sound was incomparable.
Living in a small town in my preteen years I was very lucky to have a local college radio station. We listened to it all day and night. One day after school, I was entranced by an amazing droning, booming, repeating, sexy song that immediately made my heart race and my feet began to move and stomp. It was PJ Harvey’s “Dress,” a single released in America by Indigo/Too Pure record labels from the full-length album Dry. The entire album is fantastic and that track still makes me feel the same as it did all those years ago. My brother and I would get home from school and request that same song everyday at 3:30 in the afternoon. The DJs played it every time for us, and every time the stereo on at full volume.
Taking private lessons for an instrument geared at a future in classical music is an immense gift to any child and young man. That being said, the music lacked some passion. Mozart, Beethoven, Lizt, Brahms… they all seemed frightfully dull to me.
Around the same time as discovering PJ Harvey, I was given a copy of a CBS Great Performances Series of Leonard Bernstein conducting two pieces by Aaron Copeland: The Billy the Kid ballet and Rodeo. Alone in my room I would conduct the symphony, memorized the parts, sang the countermelodies. I was in love with it for many a year. In my later years I became obsessed with “Lenny” and his personal life and contributions as a public popular culture icon in music and the arts. The passions raised by that recording and the compositions still inspire me. And we could definitely use someone like Lenny in these dark days for the arts.”
Peter Gabriel, So | From the first time I heard the creativity of Manu Katche’ play the drums I was never the same. The layered vocals on “Mercy Street,” pure magic. It’s the darkest salvation. I love how Daniel Lanois can make everything sound like its coming down from heaven.
Stevie Wonder, The Music of My Mind | It’s so much fun it makes me smile right from the start. I love that era of Stevie Wonder; he could do no wrong. “Girl Blue” is one of my favorites. Its atmosphere is truly unique. Not to mention he plays almost everything!
The Refused, The Shape of Punk to Come | This record rocks harder than most anything. The first time I heard it my mind was blown. The aural onslaught of the production and performances of this album crosses borders and boundaries.
Radiohead, OK Computer | I was immediately taken by “No Alarms, No Surprises” and had to have the album. In my opinion, this is the height of Radiohead’s songwriting combined with their new production techniques and excellent performances.
Freddie Hubbard, Red Clay | My high school band director felt this would influence my sound on trumpet. He was right. While I’m entertained and mesmerized by the sounds of Miles Davis and Clifford Brown, I identify with Freddie on a more personal level.
Yes, Fragile | I love the way they’ve incorporated many of my favorite contrasting sounds in longer and shorter song-forms. I may have listened to this album more than any other.