Compositions and Arrangements

West Coast Period

I've been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to write for some very accomplished players, both recently in California, and in the 70's in NY. A variety of styles are represented. The Purple Rain arrangement and Sly and the Family Stone mashup (Slyce) were originally written for Realistic Orchestra tribute concerts dedicated to Prince and SF Bay Area funk bands respectively. Beam Me Up is some kind of free jazz thing, while There Is No Easy Definition is hip hop with horns. All In and Dark Matter represent current big band experiments with the Bay Area Composer's Big Band.

  • Purple Rain (performance)(2008) (MP3 10.7mb)Realistic Orchestra. 6/6/2008. Bruno's, San Francisco. Adam Theis keeps up the jazz tradition of interpreting the popular music of the day with tribute nights dedicated to the music of James Brown, Prince, SF bands ... I wrote this arrangement for the 2008 Prince tribute. Recording quality is poor due to limited microphone placement options, but the playing is characteristically top notch. Trumpet solo by Erik Jekabson
  • Beam Me Up(2006) (MP3 10.1mb)Mitch Marcus Quintet. 1/13/2007. Octavia Lounge, San Francisco. Mitch had invited me to write some music for his big band project consisting of this quartet + 13 others. This was sort of a free jazz warm up tune for me. To some, it calls to mind Ornette Coleman. He left for NYC not too long after and his big band tune morphed into All In. Guitar solo by Mike Abraham.
  • There Is No Easy Definition(2005) (MP3 9.7mb)Low End Theory. 4/19/2005. Bruno's, San Francisco. I wrote this arrangement a few months before picking up the trombone, and it shows. More technically demanding than I realized at the time. The original hip-hop recording repeats a low harmonized acapella voice sample, and I thought this would be cool done by tronbones. Killer solos by Dannny Grewen (trombone) and George Ban-Weiss (bass)
  • All In For Big Band (2010) (MP3 4.8mb) Bay Area Composer's Big Band. Gualala Arts Center, April 2010. I like atonal music that grooves hard, and goes places you don't expect. Even though we had rehearsed it before, onstage at the gig, the band just about blew me off the stage.
  • Dark Matter (2010) (MP3 4.8mb) Bay Area Composer's Big Band. Coda Supper Club, SF, September 2010. Drum solo by Eric Garland, trumpet solo by Darren Johnston, tenor solo by Marcus Stephens.
  • Slyce (2010) (MP3 4.8mb) Bay Area Composer's Big Band. Anna's Jazz Island, Berkeley, September 2009. This was originally written for a Realistic Orchestra tribute to SF Bay Area bands. If you've ever been humming something and suddenly realize that you're now in the bridge of a different tune, you'll get the joke. I like the way Erik Jekabson opened the chart up to showcase Marcus Stephens (sax), and Jeanne Geiger (trombone) going mano a mano against Jeff Marrs (drums).

East Coast

  • Three Pieces for Piano (1976) Paul Barringer - piano, 1978 Princeton NJ.
  • Synergy(1974) (MP3 2mb)Da Capo Chamber Players. 1974. Bard Hall, Annandale-on-Hudson NY.
  • String Quartet(1973) (MP3 2mb)Concord String Quartet. 1973. Bard Hall, Annandale-on-Hudson NY.

During the 70's I fancied myself a composer of 'serious' music before jumping ship and defecting to the computer industry.

Jazz big bands produce a big orchestral sound that suits atonal groove music and is played by musicians that can both read and improvise.

Two local big bands redefining the art are

All photos and mp3s were created exclusively for this site