Night Walk is a piece that I started working on sometime in 2000. I had the idea for the climbing guitar line at the beginning but could not think of where to take it. One night last year, I went for a walk with my black Labrador Retriever Pharaoh. While I was walking the song was playing in my head and the structure just came to me. So many of the songs I have written have happened in similar ways.
Song for Carlos
I wrote this song a while back as a personal tribute to a guitar player who over the years has been an influence on me. That guitar player of course is Carlos Santana. I hope he gets to hear it one day! Thank you Carlos for all you’ve done to inspire so many of us, both musically and personally.
On The Deck
This song was written while sitting on the deck of one of the new British Columbia Ferries on my way back from a business trip. The song just kind of happened. I sat there with my eyes closed and let it come out .. completely oblivious to my surroundings. When I opened my eyes, much to my surprise, I was surrounded by tourists with video cameras beckoning me to keep playing.
The flute was achieved using a Roland Guitar Synth and the nylon strung guitar I used was an amazing Godin Multiac. Kamba was arranged using Win Jammer Pro and Band In A Box. I used elements from both programs to get the feel I wanted. Kamba is dedicated to my friend Karen M. who really enjoys a good samba.
This song was the first song I ever arranged using Win Jammer Pro. I was looking to write a gentle ballad and it just happened so easily. The nylon string was again the Godin. I used my Strat for the overdriven parts. First Dibs is dedicated to my friend Joy W.
Fruits of Rarotonga
Bruce and I had been playing with this groove for quite a while but I could never find an ending for it that I was happy with. After a trip to Rarotonga, Bruce had the idea for the birds and the waves at the beginning and ending of the song. He also laid down a great solo which gave the song the ending I just could not come up with. Of course, he also named the tune!
This one was totally groove driven. I came up with a groove that I thought was very seductive and then wrote the head (melody .. hook line) for it. The rest just flowed out.
Hamnjam is another one of those songs that just happened really quickly. I was going through a dry spell .. actually .. to be honest .. I was going through a lazy spell. It was suggested to me that I would in fact dry up if I didn’t get back to writing and I proclaimed that I could write a song anytime I wanted (I was of course exaggerating profusely) and went about writing this song. It happened in one evening and much like the Arousal, it started as a grove over which I found a hook I liked. Let me be clear .. this is NOT a challenge I would want to undertake again. I got lucky that night and my muse was very kind to me. I dedicated this song to my friend Glenn M. AKA Uncle Hammy!
Around 1979, I met a bass player by the name of Brian Quinn. At the time, I had a small music school. Brian and I jammed a few times between lessons and one day he played a bass line I fell in love with. Many years later, I remembered the bass line one night when Bruce and I were jamming. I had him play it and what you hear is basically what came out of that jam. Brian, if you are out there, please contact me! I’d love to know if I am even close to how you played this. More than that, it would be great to hear your voice again!
Which Root is Witch
As I was working on Old Dog New Tricks, I met Michael R. (The Rootwitch) in a chat room. He and I shared so much in common musically it was almost spooky .. as if we had somehow had the same musical experiences but separated by time (he is 10 years younger than I am) and distance. Together, we met others in the online jazz chat rooms and Michael eventually started our own small chat group. In time, strong friendships were formed and he decided to invite all of us .. from all over the world .. to spend time with him and his wife in Florida. We had some incredible jam sessions there and forged memories that will last a lifetime. I will forever be grateful for the time we spent that summer. This song is dedicated to Michael.
I wanted to write a song that had a smooth and happy groove .. you know .. that LA groove. This song took a while to complete as I kept messing around with different feels and chord progressions. Eventually, as so often happens, I went back to where it had started at which point the whole thing happened in a few days. This song is dedicated to Sheila (Sens) and Cziana.
Photo By Lis Erling Bailly – All Rights Reserved