Spitting Image

A couple of fellow ten year-olds and I were coming home from school one afternoon in 1968 when we spontaneously decided to see who could spit the furthest, in a kind of round-robin tournament as we walked. A car drove past us and then pulled over to the curb. A guy got out and stood […]

Not That You Asked…..

Here’s what I have decided: If I am going to enjoy an artist’s work, it is essential that they be good at what they do. Seems obvious, yes? But, to elaborate, I really want to be able to detect a certain amount of craftsmanship. I want to know that this person makes the requisite commitment […]

Upson Downs

I am frequently reminded that I need to resist getting either too low or too high, based on the situation at hand. This was an extreme example from several years back: I had the great privilege of playing in an orchestra that backed up Joni Mitchell when she toured to promote her recording of classic […]

Tempos? Fuggit.

The following is based on observations and experiences from my own very specific world, but I’m kind of thinking and hoping that it can be extrapolated into a wider context. So, here goes: A sizable chunk of the music that I perform is taken from what is affectionately known as the Great American Songbook, and […]

My Interview With Studs Terkel

It was my tremendous good fortune to have been interviewed by the legendary Studs Terkel on his WFMT radio show in 1995.  He was quite old and quite deaf by this time but was otherwise extremely vital. Part one Part two Part three Part four