All kinds of new CDs come out every year. What stands out about your new album, City Limits?
Mostly, the songwriting, I think. Jazz is hard to stand out in, everything technically has been done I think. The only way to get originallity is through arranging and songwriting. I think they're strong melodic sounds, the players are very good. There's some moods created with the songs.
How long did the songwriting process take?
That varies. At least one of the songs, "The Machine" came out pretty quickly. Some of the songs were written twenty years ago. "Winter (First Storm)" came out instantly, with a few minor changes here and there. "City Limits" was my first theory project in college, now twenty years later it's a song. Some songs take very quick, others you write over and over.
What were your influences?
Within jazz, Charles Mingus, Wayne Shorter, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk. Outside of jazz, Frank Zappa, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Sex Pistols, and Public Image Limited. Diferent types of world music, and sound in general. Even though the songs are more typical bass, I just love sound.
Do any particular tracks reflect ideas, experiences or emotions of yours?
"Winter" stands out the most. I wrote while staying up until 3 or 4 in the morning, looking at the snow on Humber College's campus.
Describe your approach to jazz.
I consider myself more of a jazz dabbler, because I don't play in the jazz circuit, and I don't practice jazz all the time. I do like improvising. I'm just not dedicated enough to consider myself a full time jazz musician. There's a lot of melodic ideas. I guess it's a way of expressing yourself. Coming up with cool variations of notes and sequences.
Tell me about your band. Why did you choose them?
Well, it's not really a band per se, I hired four people I've played with. I know I like their sound. We recorded in seven hours with two rehearsals. I knew their abilites. It pretty much came out the way I heard in my head. The songs were hard, but the guys did a really good job.