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 […]

Dal Segno Award Speech

Hi. First of all, thanks to my friend Eric Schneider for his kind words. And thanks to the Dal Segno Club for holding this wonderful gathering and for coming up with the wacky notion to include me as one this year’s honorees. It’s a fairly surreal experience standing here before you, but I gratefully accept […]


If you’ll indulge me in a brief follow-up about Rob Amster: I played a gig last night with a great band called the Fat Babies. It’s a 7-piece group that plays jazz from the Twenties and Thirties, and we were playing at the Green Mill. That’s the club where Rob played hundreds of times, with […]

On the untimely passing of Rob Amster

Here are some random thoughts on bassist Rob Amster, who passed away last week. It was far too soon. I’m not an expert on addiction, alcoholism or mental illness, nor did I have a lot of dealings with Rob in those areas, so I’m going to try and reflect on the guy that I want […]