Ray & I Go Way Back Or GET Me Started On Ray Davies…

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I was 12 years old when You Really Got Me hit; HIT hard it did! I was in a fever over the Kinks. In fact, whenever I got a cold, I used to go around singing Kinks‘ songs because I felt I sounded like Ray Davies!

I loved the feel, the raw yet polished production and I loved the musicians’ interaction; imperfections that actually enhanced the result! This was a lesson that proved very valuable to me in my own productions to come.

This is when I started to notice production qualities. More precisely Shel Talmy, not to mention his very hip piano threads weaving in and out.

Shel Talmy

Shel Talmy

So there was that raw gutsy period, You Really Got Me, All Day And All Of The Night, etc.. The first real change for me was their album, The Kink Kontroversy; my pick: I’m On An Island (Ray Davies). I love his psuedo reggae, Jamaican type flavour- it just really works for me.

I have only recently discovered from a British friend that North America was only privy to a portion of Ray‘s work or at least it seems to have been marketed that way. From this point on, I was pretty well enamoured by “singles” only.

Well Respected Man, Dedicated Follower Of Fashion, which I enjoyed but really got into Sunny Afternoon (Ray Davies). Listen to Nicky Hopkins‘ great piano work on the session.

Then… Lola (Ray Davies)! In the documentary the Ray DaviesImaginary Man, he was asked why the lyric “the champagne tastes like cherry cola”, he replied because it rhymes…

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Ray Davies

Although Ray Davies has and always will be with me, my interest has been rekindled ten fold ever since the London Olympic ceremonies. It had been so long since I was emotional about him that I didn’t actually recognize him immediately; that is to say I was shocked at his appearance initially. This version of Waterloo Sunset (Ray Davies) really does it for me…

I don’t know if I could get along with Ray Davies on a personal level; he has been through so much that I could not possibly relate to; he has reinvented himself to survive many times. I can tell you this, I would love to interact musically with him and I am planning my own treatment of some of his music in a future collection which I will release…

My emotional essay on Ray…

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JACK Of All Time Signatures, MASTER Of Music; Dave Brubeck

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There’s a way of playing safe, there’s a way of using tricks and there’s the way I like to play which is dangerously where you’re going to take a chance on making mistakes in order to create something you haven’t created before.”
Dave Brubeck

When I was 16 years old, my band director took our band class to Massey Hall to see The Dave Brubeck Quartet. What I observed on that day, is with me to this day.

His attitude, the band’s musicianship AND rhythm section interaction became and, still is, ingrained in my musical psyche. We have never met but, he was, unbeknownst to him, my main musical mentor.

Through the years I have been delighted and inspired by his many collaborations and experiments. His humility, nonpartisan views and sincerity will be treasured forever in my philosophical, social and musical meanderings.

All the above seemed to spread and influence any “at the moment” musicians assembled and certainly the famous quartet; the audience of course getting the full benefit.

Through the years I have arranged, played and absorbed so much of his music that I feel like an old friend. To name a favourite would be impossible; so I will post what my emotions dictate at the time of this writing.

Rest well Mr. Brubeck; you will certainly be missed. You will always remain in my thoughts, hopes and emotions.

This makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!

Dave Brubeck – piano ; Paul Desmond – alto saxophone; Eugene Wright – bass
Joe Morello – drums