MY Composing history
It all started with "First Waltz".
Having been exposed to the great writing and arranging featured in my Buddy Rich Big Band albums, the classical music my mother played on the piano, and the music my 3 older sisters listened to, which inluded the Beatles, Blood Sweat and Tears, Carole King and Joni Mitchell, I thought I 'd give composing a try. I came to realize after attending Berklee College of Music that my first composition,"First Waltz", was an A, A, B, B' 40 bar 3/4 tune in G minor.
Later on, I wrote for a jazz-rock band formed with high school and college buddies named, for some reason, "Gorman the Troll". I learned more about the crafts of composing and arranging when I attended Berklee College of Music.
While at Berklee as a student and later as a teacher, I wrote for several original pop and rock bands including "Stick People", "The Coyotes", an instrumental heavy metal trio named "The Jonn Finn Trio" and a fusion band named "Solaris".
Those bands eventually disbanded and I decided to focus on what originally attracted me to writing, the jazz idiom.
I moved to the Bay Area to start and raise a family with my wife Sondra. Not surprisingly, my composing activities dropped down to a trikle as I focused on co-rearing kids and my first 2 careers: drumming and teaching.
More recently I have composed for numerous groups including The Art Lande-Pete Sommer Quintet, The Art Lande/Paul Mcandless Quartet, a collective trio named Electreo, various percussion groups, my sextet Ratatet, The Dan Zemelman Trio and The CJC Faculty Band. I also wrote music for a marketing firm looking for music, similar to the music in the movie "Birdman", for an acrobatic routine at a trade show.
My music and arrangements have been featured on KCSM's "In The Moment" radio program and I am currently working on a musical with author Andy Weiskoff. Ratatet's first CD, on Ridegway Records, entitled "Arctic" was included in music journalist Andrew Gilbert's article "Best 10 Bay Area Jazz Releases of 2016" for the San Jose Mercury.
Most recently I've received a grant from San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music to begin production of the 2nd CD of my material with "Ratatet", and 2 accompanying videos.