Brass Tacks

I had always been a jazz pianist, from age 13. I started playing professionally at 15, and joined the musicians’ union, gigging all through high school with musicians twice and three times my age. It was great fun.

I give a fuller description of my musical trajectory in my upcoming book, of course, but today I want to mention a major change of direction that took place for me in 1983.

Piano trios, me with bass and drums, had always been my “thing,” but I reached a point in the early 80s when I started yearning for something else: a bigger sound, some kind of vehicle for my compositions that would be fuller, more, shall we say, boisterous.

The result of this longing was Brass Tacks, my 10-piece band. It includes seven brass instruments (no reeds), among them two euphoniums, a rarity in  jazz.

Here’s a sample from my CD, “My Joy” — “Passarinho do Mato,” my original composition, which means “Little Bird of the Jungle” in English.


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