Okay, OKAY, I’m A Bastard…

…according to Webster’s Dictionary definition, my music product/my music style, born from my musical influences, would be defined as:

Bastard |ˈbastərd| noun or adjective

1. illegitimate

2. of mixed or ill-conceived origin <known for coining bastardwords>

The Platypus & I Have A Lot In Common

The Platypus & I Have A Lot In Common

I love the British Invasion era; I love Blues; I love The American Songbook; I love Charles Ives; I love musicals; I love Jazz; I love R&B (50s/60s/70s); I love 50s/60s Country & Western… I LOVE MUSIC!

The Only Reason I Chose Music (Or Actually, Music Chose Me)

The Only Reason I Chose Music (Or Actually, Music Chose Me)

All of the above influence every creative mood, thought and decision I make when I am playing or composing.

So… I am not a JAZZ musician and I am not a ROCK or any of the above musician (I’m still a nice guy!); BUT, I am ME. Whatever that means, I spend my creative life exposing ME such as I am, in the most sincerest, honest way I am capable of. I OWE this to my audience.

Art in general, being subjective anyway, has always posed a certain question which has always puzzled me:

When people come up to me and say I’m great, am I great because they say so OR do I stink because they don’t really have a clue… does it matter? Think about it…

I SINCERELY MEAN…

EVERY NOTE…

I PLAY…

COMPOSE

AND TEACH…

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J.D. Salinger: An Important Mentor & Influence, Although We Never Actually Met

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J.D. Salinger

J.D. Salinger

If I could liken my approach to composition to any art-form, it would be to writers; of literature laced with historically pertinent/fiction to be specific. The authors I admire and interact with become part of my music mind because of their work and lifestyle as it applies to history in the broadest sense as well as to my personal, most intimate history. This influences me, helps to guide me to my own artistic conclusions. Artistic integrity, outlook and product combine to complete a portrait that almost “speaks” to me; befriends me…

J.D. Salinger transported me; he allowed me to perceive as he perceived. But, he always allowed me to relate on my own terms and make up my own mind. This is huge with me. In real life, he was reclusive “to his convenience” and didn’t seem to care what anyone thought about that. Over the deep end; wouldn’t fighting in a war do that to anyone?

The only known photo of  J.D. Salinger writing during his war years.

The only known photo of J.D. Salinger writing during his war years.

In conclusion:

J.D. Salinger Quote

 

Mentoring from a person who I have never met is different than simply being influenced by them. Personal lifestyle & philosophy can be as important as artistic influence. Sometimes geography, media and/or a friend of a friend can enhance this very special, honest, one-sided relationship.  

Arnold Faber: Aural•Snapshot #3 Al Kooper

Al Kooper: My Idea Of The Musicians' Musician

Al Kooper: My Idea Of The Musicians’ Musician

*Staying close to my roots has always been a priority for me; it keeps me honest as a player and a composer. My Aural Snapshot series is a very personal affirmation of THOSE roots for all of the music I create.

Arnold Faber: Aural•Snapshot #2 Jeff Beck (w/Yardbirds)

Jeff Beck Still Kickin' It!

Jeff Beck Still Kickin’ It!

 

*Staying close to my roots has always been a priority for me; it keeps me honest as a player and a composer. My Aural Snapshot series is a very personal affirmation of THOSE roots for all of the music I create.

 

Arnold Faber: Aural•Snapshot #1 Ray Davies

Ray Davies

Ray & I Go WAY Back… In My Music-Mind!

*Staying close to my roots has always been a priority for me; it keeps me honest as a player and a composer. My Aural Snapshot series is a very personal affirmation of THOSE roots for all of the music I create.

My Past Merged With My Present; For Two Solid Hours; I Saw The Who…

Then & Now Poster

This post is not a review; it is I, sharing a kind of emotional witnessing to an end of an era; a special era known only too well to YOU… YOU all know who YOU are.

As the crew was readying the stage, I felt like I was about to run into some old friends I had known intimately for several years but hadn’t seen for quite some time. The anticipation was very exciting yet somewhat melancholy. One of my main influences, drummer Keith Moon has been dead for many years and the bassist, John Entwistle passed in 2002.

The Who Then...

The Who Then…

The Who Now...

The Who Now…

When they took to the stage it was just… so comfortable; though it was in a hockey arena, and we were in the nose-bleeds, I felt connected/familiar.

Pete Townshend‘s brother Simon was on guitar and did a great job; Zak Starkey was drumming and I gottta say, FIT LIKE A GLOVE! I couldn’t believe it, definitely the man for the job. He has style, energy AND technique. Ringo has got to be a proud pappy!

Zak Starkey Then...

Zak Starkey Then…

Zak Starkey Now...

Zak Starkey Now…

They got into Quadrophenia, and did some assorted hits which did not disappoint! Roger Daltrey‘s vocals were amazing and duly supported by a 3 piece horn section and two keyboard players.

The thing is, the music had grown; the attitudes had relaxed and emitted humility. They thanked us several times for staying with them for all the years.

Humility is HUGE with me.

In summary, the years have been kind; their experiences good & bad, on the road and off, in the studio and out, personally and professionally have been kind… it was, for me, a very rewarding experience that I get to absorb into my music-mind.

 

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; Norman Bates – bass
Joe Dodge – drums