After ten years in the French horn sections of the Detroit Symphony and The Philadelphia Orchestra it has become increasingly clear that for me, creativity, spontaneity, and originality are fundamental to my musical well-being. Like all classical hornists, I have spent literally hundreds of hours learning and striving to perfect solo repertoire and orchestral excerpts (passages of important orchestra music). As its title implies, the Excerpt This! project is a conscious break from the world of classical hornist into the role of creative musician/composer/improviser -- a role I find very comfortable, gratifying, and rejuvenating.
While I play an instrument thought unwieldy for jazz, I have always felt a strong musical affinity for the genre. The sense of freedom and ease inherent in jazz I wholeheartedly embrace. In my opinion, the ability to improvise well is the most attractive, inspirational quality a musician can have. My endeavor to obtain this skill has opened my ears and imagination, as well as many musical doors. I am convinced that it has brought facility and expressiveness to my playing I could not have achieved otherwise.
The opportunity to collaborate and record my own compositions with the five creative musicians on this CD has been incredible. I truly admire them for their passion, their unbelievable ears, and their seemingly endless innovation. Without a doubt, this project has been the biggest thrill I have experienced as a musician. I hope you enjoy listening and exploring the potential of the French horn as much as I have enjoyed creating this music.