I am in the process of upgrading my personal workstation; new learning curves and HUGE opportunities…

Arnold Faber "Vibeman's" Blog

Some people love gadgets. Some people collect and display gadgets. They love tinkering with them, figuring out how they work and showing them off.

I hate gadgets. I don’t care how they work. I do however, LOVE what they can do.

When drum machines came out, drummers were bummed that they took away income potential; this expanded into sequencers, samplers etc.; I embraced all these developments as they provided me with a playing field that I may not have been able to be involved with.

With the technology, I can actually keep a rehearsal band at my fingertips 24/7!

These marvelous tools have allowed me to access areas of creativity for both my art form and my income potential that otherwise may have not been as readily available.

Every musician needs an identity or vehicle to SWIM WITH THE POD; the instrument of choice becomes a tool of self…

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Teaching, for me, goes way beyond relaying a technical approach; whether adults or kids are on the receiving end, I try to instill a pride and confidence in going after such a personal endeavor. I sincerely hope they will relate my guidance into other areas of their life…

Arnold Faber "Vibeman's" Blog

RIP Steve Jobs                                                                                                      February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011

When it’s all said and done, how are you going to measure what you put in/got out of life? I will have left documentation pertaining to my efforts with a given epitaph that I gave it my best- sincerely. Knowing this, gives me a great deal of humble satisfaction.

For me, the person with the most toys wins, is getting a little old. I have seen too much misery and angst driving around in BMWs.

Self-assessment of MY accomplishments, when I think about it, is relative to the happiness and peace of mind I acquired as I matured physically and mentally; along with actually achieving what I set out to do in the first place with as little collateral damage as possible.

Quite simply, I just wanted to create; my family, art form and mentoring have been…

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Stringed Inspiration X Two

Classical music and I are very strange bedfellows. I have such deep respect for it; I’ve studied it. However, I cannot connect with it on any level other than academic except, with a few aural performances, a few composers and a few musicians. I do not feel connected, because I didn’t live in those times; I cannot sincerely relate.

I would like to share/celebrate two of my very fave classical musicians who inspire me most; for me, it is about their connection to the music they play, through the instrument they have dedicated themselves, to convey that connection.

They come from two completely different backgrounds; they represent two very different “pillars” of inspiration for me; the music, although special, is the LEAST of that inspiration

Itzhak Perlman: Huge Heart; You'd Better Believe It!

Itzhak Perlman is a living, breathing inspiration. Passion, conviction and humility are gifts that he extols upon us with every note he plays. Every note, EVERY NOTE has a piece of his soul in it. For me, this is testament to the sincerity of the man and size of his heart! You will not only believe but, hang on to every note he plays in this wonderful excerpt of (“HIS”) Tchaikovsky‘s Violin Concert.

Yo-Yo Ma: Sheer Joy; You'd Better Believe It!

Yo-Yo Ma‘s whole being transforms when he plays. His obvious joy, and absolute intent are so apparent that you have no choice but to enjoy every note and all the spaces in between; as he mind-melds with his cello. This man’s connection to his art form transcends genre and instrument; to witness Yo-Yo Ma playing, is to witness a man celebrating and sharing the all of his musical being.

Watch Yo-Yo Ma‘s very personal performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto, 2nd Mvmt and witness his sheer joy in offering us his gift.

Solo Musicians: Like Trapeze Artists Working Without A Net

Solo artists have had a very profound effect on me through the various stages leading up to my musical adulthood. Like swimming outside the breakwater, they are susceptible to any and every lurking hazard; with no way to protect themselves; with nowhere to hide and, no way to escape accountability for the presentation they put forward. I would like to share with you a few of the artists that I have admired so.

Gene Krupa was arguably the man responsible for bringing drumming into the forefront and out of the shadows of back-line performance. Because of him, drum solos became expected, anticipated; the audience waited for it kind of like the grand finale of the concert. A drummer soloing, was to me, like a goalie coming out of his crease, taking a skate around the ice and then scoring a goal by the element of surprise! A real event to be remembered. Emulated, honored and influencial, he single-handedly created a musical buzz in his generation which I am and always will be awe-inspired. When I was 12 years old, I got to see an unforgettable drum clinic including him in a function room at Toronto’s Lord Simcoe Hotel (demolished in 1981).

Gene Krupa: For me, A One Man Band.

For me, Gene Krupa was all about making music (not just about technique) on a drum set; listen to his phrasing, his tones and his cadences. His solos were crafted spontaneously; very complete, a living, breathing entity…

Lenny Breau: This Is How I Will Always Picture Him.

Lenny Breau offered virtuosity, music and innovation on a platter for me, with my voracious musical appetite, to devour. I just couldn’t get enough; I still can’t and will never get enough. I always tell people how much I love guitar; I love the sound(s); the thought process. However, the thought of actually going after learning how to play, makes me run and hide! I am too keyboard oriented and a fretboard scares me! I wouldn’t say Lenny made it look easy but, I will say he made it look interesting and doable. It was his focus, and imagination that impressed me so.

The Claw (Jerry Reed) made me think in so many directions at the same time; different genre implications, technique AND imagination emanated from HIS take on this tune. I say HIS take because when he played this tune, HE owned it…

Joe Pass: Smooth, Fluent AND With Conviction; Just Great Music.

Joe Pass was a conduit to the generation of jazz that came before me. He represented an approach to standards that I could really connect with. I respected both his ability and integrity AND how he made it work for him in that particular era of music. I loved how his solo approach worked so well for him when he accompanied other masters like Ella Fitzgerald in duet settings.

Notice Joe‘s demeanor as he entices, cajoles and weaves us through his own Joe’s Blues

Bobby McFerrin: Perhaps The Epitome Of Solo Vulnerability.

Bobby McFerrin makes great music! Being your own instrument may be handy going to gigs but, his connection to that instrument, his sincere delivery and controlled output is a HEAVY proposition! I have learned a lot from Bobby; musical integrity, humility, work ethic AND conviction come to mind every time I witness him work.

Click and be amazed

Musicians Who Reinvent Themselves; NOT The Wheel

I have always admired superstar musicians who use their success (notoriety?) to move into the future. That is, their wealth and freedom to further their craft and venture into new areas. I have always tried to live this way (unfortunately, without that wealth and freedom!) in order to expand my horizons; sometimes, I think success would make the above more difficult to maintain.

Here are 4 artists I admire very much and who I would like to share with you.

1. Pat Metheny

Pat Metheny: Inventor?

Pat plays with anyone from any genre, anytime he chooses. Talk about creative edge! Talk about his evolving groups; the experiments are endless. Maybe we don’t like everything he does; the point is he doesn’t stop! I hope he never does!

Personal Fave Pat Metheny Milestone:

Into The Dream; W/The Pat Metheny Group Composer: Pat Metheny

2. Sting

Sting: Bass Playing Rocker Or Modern Day Musical Poet With Other Worldly Insight?

As charismatic, iconic leader of the Police, Sting truly had it all and, to this day uses all of it to move into the future; in the very ways I truly admire. His tune-smithing just doesn’t quit! His interesting sense of musical form, coupled with his very personally crafted lyrics, are complete pictures that really appeal to my sensitivity.

Personal Fave Sting Milestone:

Fields Of Gold; Composer: Sting

3. Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell: From Sandals And Congas To...

Joni Mitchell: From Sandals & Congas To…

This lady doesn’t quit; if she isn’t doing music, she’s painting. She just has to keep creating. Her transformation from folkie to electric madam was HUGE at the time. Joni Mitchell didn’t just shuck the sandals, she started to explore unusual song forms, guitar tunings and genres! Let’s not forget the amazing musicians she assembles and researches as she reinvents!

Personal Fave Joni Mitchell Milestone:

Free Man In Paris; Joni Mitchell composer, vocal, guitar; W/Pat Metheny, guitar; Jaco Pastorius bass;  Michael Brecker tenor saxophone; Lyle Mays keyboards; Don Alias drums.

4. Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney: Definite Life After The Beatles

The man keeps going. Simply put, he can go anywhere, do anything, with anyone, any time; and he does! There is really nothing else to say. To put an old cliche to to good use: The proof’s in the puddin’!

Personal Fave Paul McCartney Milestone:

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey; Composers: Paul & Linda McCartney

I AM NOT A Jazz Musician; I AM A Musician, Who Loves Playing Jazz!

I grew up with The Beatles, The Who, and The Rolling Stones. I did not grow up with Charlie Parker, John Coltrane or Miles Davis. I am however, infused with The Beatles, The Who, and the Rolling Stones while I revere Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Miles Davis.

This Is Why I Became A Musician!

This Is Why I Stayed In Music!
Photo: A Great Day In Harlem -Art Kane

1Hilton Jefferson 2Benny Golson 3Art Farmer 4Wilbur Ware 5Art Blakey 6Chubby Jackson  7Johnny Griffin 8Dickie Wells 9Buck Clayton 10Taft Jordan 11Zutty Singleton 12Red Allen  13Tyree Glenn 14Miff Molo 15Sonny Greer 16Jay C. Higginbotham 17Jimmy Jones 18Charles Mingus  19Jo Jones 20Gene Krupa 21Max Kaminsky 22George Wettling 23 Bud Freeman 24Pee Wee Russell  25Ernie Wilkins 26Buster Bailey  27Osie Johnson 28Gigi Gryce 29Hank Jones 30Eddie Locke  31Horace Silver 32Luckey Roberts 33Maxine Sullivan 34Jimmy Rushing 35Joe Thomas 36Scoville Browne  37Stuff Smith 38Bill Crump 39Coleman Hawkins 40Rudy Powell 41Oscar Pettiford 42Sahib Shihab  43Marian McPartland 44Sonny Rollins 45Lawrence Brown 46Mary Lou Williams 47Emmett Berry  48Thelonius Monk  49Vic Dickenson   50Milt Hinton   51Lester Young   52Rex Stewart  53J.C. Heard  54Gerry Mulligan  55Roy Eldgridge 56Dizzy Gillespie 57Count Basie

When the Beatles hit, I was mesmerized by their on stage appeal but even more so, I was most interested in the drumming. As time went on, I started to wonder how they came to the end result and what was involved in recording that result.

I then started to get interested in all styles of music strictly based on my aural curiosity; Sure, some spoke to me more than others but, I developed this ability to recognize great music even if it didn’t actually connect with my soul. I take great pride in this ability to this day.

Recognizing the trail blazers above, appreciating their musical contributions and what they went through blazing that trail, has given me my personal depth; that is a depth I will continue to develop until I can’t.

I believe that whatever one music generation leaves behind, becomes the springboard for the next generation to launch from and carry on the prowess, philosophies and evolvement of the music (regardless of genre).

Emulation is futile and aggravates me to no-end; snobbery, at any level of competence is intolerable; egotistic hoarding of knowledge is unforgivable.

When I create or perform, I am interested in the here and now as well as what’s coming. Because I have a very healthy respect for the past, I take great pride in saluting and teaching it (after all that’s where we come from). But, I don’t care to go back there (other than occasional visits).

For example, I love Be-bop. I will never be able to play it the way I hear it; I love Classical; I will never be able to play it the way I hear it. I wasn’t there and I didn’t live in those times.

So… I simply move on and hope for the best.

A man’s got to know his limitations” – Dirty Harry

Personnel: Arnold Faber vibraphone; Ali Berkok piano.

Ian Paice, How We Met Again For The Very First Time!

Me, When I first Encountered Ian Paice...

Me, When I first Encountered Ian Paice; Circa 1969

We all influence people in our life circle; intentionally or unintentionally we hope that it is in a positive way. Ian Paice influenced me musically at a very young and impressionable age.

In 1968, I heard Deep Purple‘s Hush for the first time. It packed such a tremendous wallop for a top 40 tune! Everything about it was so big; that huge organ sound; that amazing guitar sound; that hard hitting, full of technique drumming! Who was this guy?

Being sick for drumming and music, I delved into Ian Paice‘s work on the first 4 Deep Purple albums. After that, my tastes changed so, although I didn’t follow the group any more, his effect on me was permanently etched into my DNA.

As kids we had a rock group “Lemon Extract“; we won a battle of the bands contest with our rendition of Hush and went off and played at a club in New York; an experience of a lifetime! Thanks Ian for letting me cop your licks!

Flash forward to Feb 15, 2012 at Just Drums in Toronto, Canada. Ian Paice came to the store for a signing; let’s see 1968 to 2012, can you believe that I got to meet him forty-four years later!

Me, When I Finally Met “The Man”.  Photo: Cary Stein, Just Drums Toronto 2012

Yes, even seasoned, hard-core career musicians get mushy; I admit it! I was, 16 years old again for 5 minutes. It was great fun!

A Little Memorabilia Doesn’t Hurt!  Photo: Cary Stein, Just Drums Toronto 2012

This great banner just got greater! By signing this, Ian immortalized my little milestone.

I always have and always will, be a bit of a romantic. I guess that’s partly how I have weathered all the storms; I loved every second of this personally historic moment!

Lets go back to 1968 and listen to one of many reasons I chose my musical path…

Personnel as determined: Rod Evans vocals; John Lord (Hammond) organ; Ian Paice drums; Ritchie Blackmore guitar; Nick Simper bass.