…While Listening To Myself In The Mirror #18

Around 2002, Vibre´ started as a bass and vibraphone duo; we were both working at St. John’s Music in Calgary, at 4th St. & 10th Ave SW. We started with a series of Thursday Nights at The  Second Cup in the now deserted (demolished?) Gaslight Square. What started as a casual musical workout, turned into a gigging, touring and recording experience that I will always treasure…

Around 2003, I acquired The Gold Monster: The Most Fun Anyone Can Have With 3 1/2 Octaves! I Also Became A Yamaha Canada Artist Clinician Through An Unusual Sequence Of Events.

About 2003 we added a sax player to our duo on a casual basis. He would come and sit in; the thing was, his main sax was a soprano. I fell in love with that sound mixed with the vibes. We started putting arrangements together that allowed everyone to play their brains out! At that time I had two musical objectives; liberated playing within an arrangement and that the tune should sound different every time we played it.

The Second Cup In South Centre Mall Calgary. Who Knew; We played There Quite A Few Times 01-02. Musicians Used To Come And Sit In.

Sometimes, musical situations evolve so naturally, you don’t even realize it. I had no clue what was to come and what was to become one of the most fulfilling musical experiences of my life.

a career in music? Don’t be silly, you won’t make a living. That’s no life for a son (daughter) of mine. That’s that! I don’t want to discuss it again!

Hey! Turn the radio up! I love that song!

We used to pick tunes that like Chick Corea‘s Sea Journey that had forms we could distort and play on forever; each time different!

Personnel as determined: Pat Metheny guitar; Gary Burton vibraphone.

*The Series …While Listening To Myself In The Mirror, chronicles the milestones, influences and progression of the musical career and times of Arnold Faber, Canadian Career Musician/Composer. The intent is strictly to inform, entertain and chronicle a 38+ year career in Canadian music history.

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…While Listening To Myself In The Mirror #17

Around 2002, Vibre´ started as a bass and vibraphone duo; we were both working at St. John’s Music in Calgary, at 4th St. & 10th Ave SW. We started with a series of Thursday Nights at The  Second Cup in the now deserted (demolished?) Gaslight Square. What started as a casual musical workout, turned into a gigging, touring and recording experience that I will always treasure…

My Deagan Commander II Vibraphone. Built-In Pickups, Portable. My Weapon Of Choice In 2002.

While  I was working retail in a musical instrument store, this thought occurred to me; why not form some kind of band with the staff. We all had families; we worked the same hours; we had similar musical interests so why not?

When 6:00 rolled around, I wheeled my vibes next door (in good weather) and we set up in 20 minutes. Playing next door to where we worked, every Thursday was convenient and seemed to work out well. We started attracting some regulars and our format was easy going jazz. With my vibraphone, we had a built in signature both visually and sound-wise. After a few months we started playing other coffee settings and started to let people sit in. It was fun and it kept my music machinery well-oiled!

Hey! Turn the radio up! I love that song!

We picked tunes that were easy to play on, so we could invite other players to jam with us. One of my faves, which I use to this day to warm up on in a club, is Charles Lloyd‘s Sweet Georgia Bright. I happen to love this rare instance of HIM playing it!

Charles Lloyd tenor sax; Jason Moran piano; Reuben Rogers bass; Eric Harland drums.

*The Series …While Listening To Myself In The Mirror, chronicles the milestones, influences and progression of the musical career and times of Arnold Faber, Canadian Career Musician/Composer. The intent is strictly to inform, entertain and chronicle a 38+ year career in Canadian music history.

…While Listening To Myself In The Mirror #16

This Is The West To Me. We Used To Tour, In, Around And Through The Mountains Regularly. When I First Saw Them, I Was In A Van With 3 Other Musicians; I Said To One Of Them. “WOW, They Are So Amazing!”. He Replied, “Aw, They’ll Be There Tomorrow!”.

It was around this time that I decided to start playing vibraphone in a solo concept with MIDI back up tracks. You couldn’t buy tracks so I made all of mine, and transferred them to a Tascam 4 track deck and mixed them through a small P.A.. Although professional karaoke is widely accepted now, you can imagine what it looked like in 1988, especially with a vibraphone! I actually had people invite me to sit down for a drink; they used to say as a joke, “just let the tracks play!”.

I had extended engagements at varied venues; The Green Street Cafe, Cafe Calabash, The Calgary Science Center, Malls, various restaurants around Calgary etc.. One of my faves was about six months at The Plaza Theater; I played while they ran a slide show of local advertising before the movie started. I also got to see all the great movies they showed.

A Calgary Landmark! What A Great Gig! I played All The Music I Loved Before The Show Started.

Hey! Turn the radio up! I love that song!

I grew up in an age of great instrumentals; classic hits by Booker T & The MGs, Average White Band, The Ventures, The Champs, etc.. So, I decided to present a blend of these and Jazz/Blues standards that meant a lot to me.

This is an early promo video that I sent out for work in those days.

*The Series …While Listening To Myself In The Mirror, chronicles the milestones, influences and progression of the musical career and times of Arnold Faber, Canadian Career Musician/Composer. The intent is strictly to inform, entertain and chronicle a 38+ year career in Canadian music history.

…While Listening To Myself In The Mirror #15

Moving back to Toronto, where we started from, was a bitter/sweet experience. Shelly, Henry & I really loved Boston but, when school was finished, there wasn’t a lot for me to do. Being THE college town, I soon discovered that you’d better be involved with education either as a student or a teacher…

In 1983, we found a place to live in the beaches area of Toronto and dug in.  I was composing like crazy but not making enough money so I started teaching and working at the amazing Toronto Percussion Centre. When I wasn’t teaching/selling there, I was back to balancing family life and music. Around that time, I put together a duo with a marimba/vibraphone player, Allan Molnar from Yorkton Saskatchewan (we are still good friends to this day). We called the concept Mallet Busters (the movie Ghost Busters was huge at the time).

At The Bamboo: Featuring Don Thompson (C), Bass; Arnold Faber (R), Vibraphone; Allan Molnar, Marimba (L).

We sure had a ball in the early eighties. Mallet Busters played everywhere; all major street corners, Meyer’s deli (both locations), The Bamboo Club…

a career in music? Don’t be silly, you won’t make a living. That’s no life for a son (daughter) of mine. That’s that! I don’t want to discuss it again!

Hey! Turn the radio up! I love that song!

Then we got the call to play Theatre St.Denis at the 1985 Montreal Jazz Festival. It was great, they picked us up at the train station and took us to a great hotel to drop our luggage just in time for the sound check. The room itself was memorable as it had been Chick Corea’s. He had left a whole bunch of flowers and some beer! We had Michael Farquharson On Bass in our trio format. We opened up for JACQUES LOUSSIER. All I can say is WOW!

The times, they were exciting; in 1986 we did an album on the CBC’s Jazz Image label. Mallet Busters: Side one, trio format with Don Thompson on bass; side two: 5 piece. The musicians: Arnold Faber, vibraphone; Allan Molnar, marimba; Greg Stone, guitar; Michael Farquharson, bass; Rick Gratton, drums.

The CBC is very special to me. They gave me a great start and a lot of work over the years.

Suite: CBC was written at the kitchen table with now, our TWO sons, Henry & Elliot hanging on my neck! Actually, we didn’t know it at the time of composing but, Shelly was pregnant with our third son, Miles.

*The Series …While Listening To Myself In The Mirror, chronicles the milestones, influences and progression of the musical career and times of Arnold Faber, Canadian Career Musician/Composer. The intent is strictly to inform, entertain and chronicle a 38+ year career in Canadian music history.

…While Listening To Myself In The Mirror #14

I believe all of us, like Blues Legend Robert Johnson near Dockery Plantation at midnight, come to our own “crossroads” where we make our “pact” with the devil; less ominously, at the very least, arrive at our “point of no return” with what we are going to do with our lives…

My Crossroads: Mass Ave & Boylston St, Boston's Back Bay.

At my crossroads, I decided to give up playing Top 40 or commercial cover grind and start “creating” music. Although I wouldn’t turn down a wedding or Bar Mitzvah, I would not actively go after that kind of work or club gig.

My nine semesters at Berklee were spread over an eight year period. Around 1981, my seventh semester, I formed my first band, Conception. Shelly, Henry and I had a house on the South Shore in Braintree Mass where the band practiced; we played a nice blend of originals and standards. In Boston we played Ryles and The 1369 Club. We traveled as far north as Portland New Hampshire to play Horsefeathers and as far south to play Dr. Watson’s in Philadelphia.

I Understand Ryles Is Still Happening. Everyone Loved Ryles. Shelly & I Saw Pat Metheny There With Danny Gottleib, Drums; Rufus Reid, Bass; Michael Brecker, Tenor Sax.

I Never Played Paul's Mall. I Did, However, Get To See Milt Jackson, Steps Ahead, Betty Carter And The Gary Burton Group With Pat Metheny Guitar, Danny Gottleib, Drums AND BOTH Steve Swallow & Eberhard Weber On Basses!

Talk about being inspired! I got to see/hear so many of my influences up close and personal. I even took Henry (on my lap) to see Weather Report at The Orpheum. Studying, Playing and catching my many influences was really shaping my ears and intellect for the coming years!

a career in music? Don’t be silly, you won’t make a living. That’s no life for a son (daughter) of mine. That’s that! I don’t want to discuss it again!

Hey! Turn the radio up! I love that song!

One of the tunes that I composed during that period was my Walk In Tune! I had the pleasure of recording it with my group Vibre´many years later on Our Maximum Jazz/Universal Group enhanced CD, Blue Comedy. I loved the album and  the group!

*The Series …While Listening To Myself In The Mirror, chronicles the milestones, influences and progression of the musical career and times of Arnold Faber, Canadian Career Musician/Composer. The intent is strictly to inform, entertain and chronicle a 38+ year career in Canadian music history.

…While Listening To Myself In The Mirror #13

I had one week to register at Berklee, find a place to live and, suss the lay of the land enough to establish a routine for learning, honing and exercising my musical passion…

Berklee & I Go Way Back!

Berklee really did it for me. The school gave me a very singular insight into my creative process that simply doesn’t quit. Any genre, anytime; personal or business; I just don’t seem to hit any brick walls and, I only seem to be getting more excited as the years pass! Needless to say, the lifelong friendships and memories established during our eight years in and out of Boston, are absolutely priceless.

If You Were A Drummer/Percussionist Going To Berklee, You Knew Jack's Drum Shop. Going From The Mass Ave Building To The Boylston Building, You Had To Pass It (you went in, even just to drool!).

My program was The Jazz Composition & Arranging Degree and my instrument major was percussion. I had to change my instrument major to mallets exclusively because that was my whole thrust for being there as far as my main axe was concerned. I did however, get a lot of excellent drum set instruction that first semester.

Our First Home Was In Weymouth Mass. On The South Shore. I Used To Park The Van In North Quincy And Take The Red Line Train To The Green Line. Then I Took The Green Line To Boylston.

1976 was a very pivotal year for me, with Shelly in her final trimester, staying with her parents, waiting for Henry to arrive and me starting college so far away. Every Friday, after my arranging class, I would hop into our van and drive the 883.2 km, Mass Pike, then New York Thruway to Toronto (3 times until our first of three beautiful sons actually arrived!).

a career in music? Don’t be silly, you won’t make a living. That’s no life for a son (daughter) of mine. That’s that! I don’t want to discuss it again!

Hey! Turn the radio up! I love that song!

I had been on the road three years before coming to Berklee, so I knew the ropes and set out to find a working band to make some extra cash when I wasn’t in school; I answered an ad for a drummer. We were to play a series of Chinese food restaurants within 100 km radius of the school that featured music for dancing. The band consisted of a female lead singer, a guitar player, who is a dear friend to this day, a Cordovox player who punched bass as well and myself on drums (I still dragged my vibes along to play ballads). We played all over Massachusetts and New Hampshire. That era makes me think of Year Of The Cat, Al Stewart; Cold As Ice, Foreigner; Blue Bayou, Linda Ronsdadt; 9 To 5, Dolly Parton etc.; lightweight MOR of the times was our thing. We played together 2 years.

Interesting contrast to the music I wanted to create; I was either in school or playing and balancing my family life; interesting times!

*The Series …While Listening To Myself In The Mirror, chronicles the milestones, influences and progression of the musical career and times of Arnold Faber, Canadian Career Musician/Composer. The intent is strictly to inform, entertain and chronicle a 38+ year career in Canadian music history.

…While Listening To Myself In The Mirror #12

With our ’74 Chevy van loaded up, surfboard on roof rack and Shelly 7 months pregnant with Henry, we bade goodbye to our friends and comfort zone in Regina Sask., and headed for Boston; first stop, Toronto 2039 km.

The Stratus Singers Contract Was For The "Mark Twain" Room, In The Regina Inn; June-Mid August '76. Talk About Luxury, Everything Was First Rate, Pool, Food Was Excellent And The Staff Knew Us Well. It Was Really Difficult To Leave Our Friends And A Life-style That We Had Grown Accustom To In The First Three Years Of Our Marriage.

I remember around November 1975, I was leafing through my monthly Down Beat Magazine when I Came across a Berklee College Of Music ad. I said to Shelly, “If I ever went back to school, that’s the one I would go to.” Shelly said, “Why don’t you go.”

It took me several months to line up all my references, student loans, transcripts, etc.. Then about May 1976, I got a telegram from Berklee advising me of my acceptance!

The music of influence for me at that time, to name some, included, Duke Ellington, Joe Pass, Lenny Breau, George Gershwin, Chuck Mangione, Phoebe Snow, Gary Burton, Gap Mangione, Dave Brubeck, Ray Charles, Al Kooper, Blood Sweat & Tears, Chicago, Beach Boys, Tower Of Power…

Professionally, it was disco all the way; But my candy was the Guess Who, The Who, Heart, Little River Band, Billy Joel…

My love affair with the vibraphone was starting to really heat up; likewise my insatiable curiosity for arranging and composition.

This Was My First "Owned" Vibraphone, a Musser M44. I Would Drag This And My Slingerland 6 Piece Drum Kit To Gigs. I Would Play Ballads On The Vibraphone.

Music, like baseball means you are always practicing for the “show“. It may never come but, according to your passion, you prepare for any eventuality; one just never knows when one will be tested…

I have never wavered from my goals of making music to the best of my passionate abilities. I have been, at times very frustrated, but NEVER discouraged, because of my need to create!

a career in music? Don’t be silly, you won’t make a living. That’s no life for a son (daughter) of mine. That’s that! I don’t want to discuss it again!

Hey! Turn the radio up! I love that song!

When I started on my vibraphone quest, there was my huge interest historically in Red Norvo, Lionel Hampton, our own Peter Appleyard and Milt Jackson. Then I discovered Gary Burton; I went to Berklee to study with him.

It was around this time that his New Quartet album came out. It left a HUGE impression on me. The tune that grabbed me by the throat was Chick Corea’s Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly.

Gary BurtonI hope you are well.

*The Series …While Listening To Myself In The Mirror, chronicles the milestones, influences and progression of the musical career and times of Arnold Faber, Canadian Career Musician/Composer. The intent is strictly to inform, entertain and chronicle a 38+ year career in Canadian music history.