Can you give us a little insight into the making of your latest CD Window Shopping, as far as song writing and recording?
I was really excited about making a new CD. "Soho Strut" had opened some doors for me (thanks in part to the great support of smoothjazz.com) and I really wanted to do something new. I co-wrote three songs on the album with my long-time friend and fellow former L.A. Sax Company endorser Horace Alexander-Young. Horace has always been sort of a mentor to me and working with him in this capacity was fantastic. I told him that I wanted to put a vocal tune on the CD to feature my keyboard player, J.J. Moscato (who has a fantastic voice), and Horace put me in touch with Travis Milner who contributed "Don't Say No" to the project. Another great Buffalo based musician and composer is Dave Kayne. Dave's a very good friend and was kind enough to contribute two original compositions to the project: the opening track "Night Flyer" and "Three Cats". On Soho, the last track was a solo sax section thing that was a little more left-of-center than the rest of the disc, and I wanted to end this CD the same way. A friend of mine turned me onto the anime series "Cowboy Bebop" which has killer music in it. One of tunes from the series, "Space Lion," is a saxophone/synthesizer piece that has a Blade Runner vibe to it. I thought it would the perfect way to end this CD.
What's it like playing sax in and around Buffalo? Do you ever run into the Spyro Gyra boys?
Actually, it's a little difficult trying to play smooth jazz in Bflo. Unfortunately, there is no smooth jazz station in the area, and very few clubs. And the stations in town that do play local music are playing rock or alternative. The two closest smooth jazz stations are CIWV in Hamilton, Ontario Canada and WNWV in Cleveland, Ohio. With regards to the club scene, there are a few that are digging what I'm trying to do, but it would be wonderful if there were the number of venues that you have in CA here.
What's your favorite non-music past time?
Playing Basketball. I usually play 2-3 times a week. Maybe someday I can get a game of one-on-one with Wayman Tisdale.
What's currently on your iPod?
I recently had my iPod stolen. It was one of the very first ones available, so now I'm going to get a new 60 GB model. In addition to putting a lot of my favorite artists on, I'm excited to have the complete Star Wars saga available at any time.
Who do you most desire to collaborate with?
Tom Scott. Tom was a major, major influence on me growing up, and it would be great to work with him!
Finish this sentence: I can't live a day without ______________
My morning Hot Chocolate.