Friday, September 12, 2008
A musical genius.
I was fortunate to get to know Brian the last several years from playing in Honk, Wail, and Moan.
I always had extremely good times on those gigs having to put on heavy duty "reading glasses" to play Brian's music. I know I was in the presence of a genius and he always had more new compositions for us to play on each gig. It never got stale playing in this group.
I found Brian's music to have two qualities that are always tough to accomplish for any composer. His music appealed to intellectuals and also to just recreational listeners who knew nothing of the "skyscraper chords" he liked to use often. He had the gift of the muse for certain, but never came off as an ivory tower snob, although he certainly could have had reason to be one if he chose. He was just a regular guy, quietly wise but without pretension, cheerful and upbeat, always.
Brian and I shared in our grief earlier this year when our mutual composition teacher Dave Wheeler passed on in March. It has been tough to say goodbye to these musical geniuses all in the same year.
I can picture Brian and Dave collaborating again on the other side.