The Journey That Was “Tales Told And Journeys Imagined"
When I released “Tales Told…” in the summer of 2011 it was a bit of milestone for me. As a lifelong freelancer it was incredible to finally have an album released with my name on it. Furthermore, since I wrote, produced and played on all the material it was an even bigger deal – something that only a few scant years before I could not have imagined doing was now happening. My expectations, being a complete unknown in this area, were modest. I simply had no idea how things would be received or even if anybody would care at all. Did I have confidence in my work? Yes, I liked a lot of it quite a bit and I think my standards are fairly high as to what should and should not be released, but when you get as close to a project as I was with this, it can be very hard to have any objectivity or sense of perspective.
Soon after the release I heard from a number of musical friends that heard and liked the work. Keyboard man Will Kimsey from L.A. soon got a hold of me and suggested that he submit the opening track (“Making An Entrance”) to Rick Mizuno’s show “Indies In Motion” out in L.A. – Rick liked the track and I got my first taste of airplay. The ease with which this happened emboldened me to start submitting like crazy and soon the music started getting played all over the place. As I type this a few years later, every track on the record has received airplay somewhere.
The list of DJ’s and outlets that played the tunes is fairly long, but some of the more notable personalities and stations are: Patrick Derlon at Radio France, Ken Field at WMBR in Boston, Don Campau of KWTF in San Francisco and his “No Pigeonholes Podcast”, Radio Marabu in Belm, Germany, Wayne Benson at Krankit Radio in Boston, Scott Wedel at Head Case Radio in Seattle, Diggy Kat and Miss Mouse at RadioBuzzD.com in Los Angeles, Earl Watts at WNUR and JazzyLounge.com in Chicago, The Jackass Penguin Show’s Jazzy Selection in Limerick, Ireland, Mark Lamdanski at Butterflies Radio in South Florida, the Eclectic Bliss Podcast, Mikey Jay at KGUP 106.5 “The Emerge Radio Networks” in Los Angeles, Veronica Dee and Howard Stone at Mutiny Radio in San Francisco, Rodney Bardin at KCTY “The City” in Long Beach, CA, KLBC also In Long Beach, Jason Smith and his Radio BSOTS Podcast, E J Buster at Hollow Earth Radio in Seattle and, of course, enormous thanks to the leading feline ass-kicker of the west, Taylor Van Arsdale, for playing me on her “Music And Mayhem” show on Indie 100 out of Los Angeles.
With all the airplay came a number of highly positive reviews, making a recommended recording list from Radio 6 in the Netherlands and a nomination from an indie organization in L.A. (the Artists In Music Awards) for best jazz recording (didn’t win, but hey, cool to nominated for anything by anybody). I was approached by an excellent publicist, put her on the paroll and was suddenly doing interviews which was an interesting experience. A number of music licensing companies inquired about using various tracks and I came to an agreement with three of them although as of right now, none of the material has been utilized on a film or a television series (although we have been picked for two – you can “make the cut” and still never get on the air – ah, Hollywood). A singular honor in all of this was when “Making An Entrance was arranged for big band by Dr. Neil Wetzel of Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and was performed in the spring of 2014 by that ensemble. I attended the concert and felt that, perhaps, I was on the edge of “academic acceptance” or something.
One cool byproduct of all of this was getting to know the some of the DJ’s that were playing the music – some of us became really tight. In June of 2013 I was asked if I would be interested in doing an hourly show once a month for a station in L.A. and that I could play whatever I wanted. So, I did and have been ever since. The show is called “Harmony Of The Spheres” and can be heard on the third Wednesday of every month at 7 in the west and 10 in the east on Lucky Star Radio. Although the station generally plays a lot of thrash and industrial stuff, I take the opportunity to play a very eclectic mix to help break down the genre parochialism that is so rife in the culture.
Clearly, I did not expect all of this from a recording I made at my home in a studio I built. I frequently marveled (like when hearing my music played on a Saturday evening French jazz radio show, right after Branford Marsalis and right before Clifford Brown) that any of this was even possible. I kept saying to myself, “Man… I made the freakin’ record in my basement!!!!” Anyway, the entire experience was eye-opening and one in which I learned a great deal. The clear take away is that anything IS possible, and I have come out of this period inspired and determined to do even better the next time out. Let’s just put it this way: I’m workin’ on it, kids.