August 18, 2006

Joyce Cooling - Revolving Door

Joyce-Cooling.jpgMuch like Lewis Carroll's beloved Alice who followed a nattily attired talking rabbit down a hole I was equally intrigued as I recently spent an all too short hour speaking with American contemporary Jazz guitarist Joyce Cooling. The San Francisco Bay area composer/musician readily admits that having a conversation with her can be both an adventure and elusive. At one point during our conversation she asks, "Have you noticed with me that you can never get a straight answer? Have you noticed that?"

With most artists you can ask what kind of guitar or drums they play and you get a very technical answer and why they prefer certain types of pickups and a certain style of guitar. With Cooling she uses it as an opportunity to share with you a romantic piece of family lore. She strums the guitar next to her and tells me, "This right here is what I call my beach guitar. It is the very first guitar that I confiscated (from her family)," she confides in me. "It was supposed to be a new family guitar and when I left (home) it was like, "I'll be taking this (with me) thank you," she says laughing.

Cooling then plunges headlong into the history of the guitar. "My uncle, my mom's brother was a Jazz guitarist. He played with Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald. He was the real deal! He did the Carson show (in the house band) when it was in New York City. (Prior to Carson) he did the Jack Paar show. He retired when the Carson show moved to Los Angeles," she says. By now I am thinking to myself that is all very nice Joyce but what does this have to do with my question or the guitar you were strumming a few minutes ago?

Whether Cooling realizes it or not she is a very good storyteller and has learned that you must slowly work up to the heart of the adventure. She relates to me how her uncle opened a music store in New York City. "He would handpick every single guitar whether it was going to sell for thirty dollars, three hundred dollars or three thousand dollars. He would play each guitar. He would come home with these very inexpensive guitars and we got one of the thirty dollar guitars," she says. The guitar sitting beside her is the one that came from her uncle's store when Cooling was a little girl. "I love this thing. As a matter of fact I played this on the very last song "One Again" from the new CD Revolving Door," Cooling says. The song "One Again" was inspired by the romance between her aunt and uncle. "I decided to play this guitar that he gave us. It is still my favorite soul guitar to this day," she says. Almost as an after thought she tells me that she has twenty other guitars.

The title of Cooling's album Revolving Door originates with the desire of Cooling and her partner Jay Wagner to create a more keen awareness of the issues faced by families who have a loved one coping with a mental illness. The subject rests close to Cooling's own heart as her brother tries to cope with schizophrenia. A portion of Wagner and Cooling's proceeds from all retail and online sales of the album are being donated to the National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI). The image of a revolving door becomes an analogy for people who find they are spinning into situations that they cannot control such as mental illness. On another level Cooling views the analogy being extended to things such as a bad day at the office or a relationship that has gone awry.

Cooling says that because of the media and entertainment industry's portrayal of any type of mental illness as being more closely linked to sociopaths a stigma has arisen within society. She wants to dispel those myths and lend a voice to those in society who have remained quiet. "When you get shame involved people hide it and (it results in) a lack of research," says Cooling.

It is through providing a voice for those who often are not heard that and Cooling and Wagner hope to attract more research dollars for mental illness. Coincidentally the day after my conversation with Cooling an article appeared in Canada's largest newspaper the Toronto Star indicating that of all the G8 countries Canada is the only one that has a negligible amount of dollars dedicated to the area of research for children who have a mental illness.

It has been well documented that Cooling's musical tastes are very eclectic. On the wall in her 'music room' are framed CD covers from artists as diverse as; John Coltrane, The Police, Wayne Shorter, Joni Mitchell, Wes Montgomery, Led Zeppelin, Dexter Gordon, Crosby, Stills and Nash and Bossa Nova legend Elis Regina. In response to my query as to whose music she was listening to on this day she peered inside her stereo and rhymed off the names of Ivan Lins and Indian singer Parween Sultana. Understanding the eclectic musical tastes of Cooling and partner Wagner is a key to appreciating why they have worked so effectively together for seventeen years as writers and musicians. When it comes to music Cooling will tell you that it is like they finish each other's phrases. "As corny as this sounds we are musical soul mates," she says. The diversity of music from which they pull their inspiration allows them to create richly textured compositions.

Cooling refers to Revolving Door as an earthy album. "It has salt and minerals," she says. The CD also gives us an opportunity once again to listen to her vocals. Cooling admits that the more she has evolved as an artist her vocals have surfaced more often. "As time passed there were more and more that I felt I wanted to say," she tells me. Cooling the composer could not put those thoughts across with a strictly instrumental tune so she started to develop the lyrical side of her writing. She poses the question, "How do you communicate that (the missive) behind "Little Sister" on this new CD (without the use of words)?" On the other hand with "Revolving Door" (the title track) how do you put that into a lyric? I had no way of doing it so it became an instrumental. It's more what bubbles up and needs to be said. Is it an instrumental thing or does it really require words? When it requires words it becomes a vocal tune."

Fans of Joyce Cooling should enjoy both the instrumental and vocal tracks from her new CD Revolving Door which will be released on September 9th.

Posted by Joe Montague at 6:33 AM

April 24, 2006

Lori Perry

LoriPerry.jpgFans of Jazz music will know Lori Perry best for her days in the quartet Perri with her three sisters Carol, Darlene and Sharon. Perri had a stellar run in the eighties, touring with artists such as Roberta Flack, George Benson, Anita Baker and Seal. Perry has recorded with Brian Culbertson, George Michael, Elton John, George Duke and Cher. As she spoke to me from her home in Studio City in the USA Perry talked about her solo career, reminisced about the days with Perri and spoke enthusiastically about her new CD I Found It In You.

I Found It In You serves as an appendix to the 2004 release Wrote This Song. I Found It In You has enhanced grooves and a couple of more songs than the earlier album. She says of the songs on the album, "The music represents (the songs) that I have been holding in my heart for sometime and that I have wanted to put out. The CD is my baby."

When you listen to Perry's passionate vocals on songs such as "Nine Eleven", "On My Mind" and "Wrote This Song" you may think her music sounds other worldly. It is, sort of. While some of us are content to talk in our sleep Perry has raised the bar and sings in her sleep. "It's funny how I get melodies in my head while I am sleeping so I keep a little digital recorder at my bedside. When I do hear these melodies I just put them on tape. (The next morning) I will listen to what I have recorded in the middle of the night," she says explaining her sometimes unconventional method for writing songs.

In creating the album she called upon an old friend George Duke. "I have worked with George for about eight years. I have learned so much from that man. He is a brilliant wonderful producer, father and husband. I have nothing but respect for him. He has a lot of knowledge about music. He will sit and tell me stories and I tell him, 'You need to write your memoirs.' It is always a pleasure to work with him because he allows me to be who I am. He always gives me a place to stand out front. I love artists who are not intimidated by the talents of others. He enhanced what I have to offer. When I asked George to be a part of the CD yes couldn't come out (of his mouth) fast enough. He gave us the studio free of charge. It was just him letting me know that he appreciates me."

Perry was very involved in the production of I Found It In You. "I am hands on because nobody knows better than you what you hear inside of your head. I don't want to hold all the reins. I am not greedy in the sense that, "It's my thing and I am going to do it my way," she says mimicking a bratty tone with her voice. She adds, "I welcome any idea that (others contribute).

Perry also collaborated with Jazz icon Brian Culbertson to write "Going To Miss You" and "Getting Over You". "I had met Brian through a former manager of mine who died of leukemia. His name was Howard Lowell. Nobody knew he was sick. He was just this loving guy who would try to hook you up with anyone that he thought you should collaborate with. In his dying days he (Lowell) kept calling Brian and I and saying, 'You have to meet.' After we (Culbertson and her) met (Lowell) went into the hospital and died. I went over to Brian's house and we were both so saddened by Lowell's death that we wrote "Going to Miss You". We toured together and I am looking forward to (the opportunity) to work with Brian again in the coming years."

While Perry has always been highly regarded by those in the music industry, fans, radio stations and critics have often overlooked, not panned her work. "Sometimes I can get mad because I am not up there receiving a Grammy but I am happy for those that do. I know that my turn is coming if I don't faint. I cannot give up no matter how long it takes. I believe my turn is coming. I need to work at my craft and sooner or later somebody will say, 'Hey this girl is good.' I see the changes (in the industry) and I try to adjust. I am trying to reinvent what I do and not be left behind in an eighties world." I Found It In You should go a long way towards a new generation of music listeners recognizing Perry as possessing one of the most gifted voices in Jazz music.

Perry recalled two career highlights for me. One stems from her song "No Place To Go" recorded on a Perri album. The inspiration for the song came from her conversation with a homeless person on the streets of Los Angeles on the American west coast. The song was a big hit in another US city Detroit Michigan and the mayor of the city presented the Perry sisters with the key to the metropolis. The gesture was acknowledgement that they had elevated awareness to the plight of the homeless.

She continues, "I think that (whole experience) has been the most rewarding for me as well as singing with Donald Fagan (Steely Dan). I just love him as a writer, singer and producer. We did "The Caves of Altrima" on one of the Perri albums and at that time he wasn't letting anyone use his publishing rights. He (allowed) us to do "The Caves of Altrima" and it turned out great. She received an invitation to perform with Fagan in Los Angeles. It was in part orchestrated by her friend Ricky Lawson who was the drummer for Fagan. I couldn't sit quietly (during rehearsal) listen to all that great Steely Dan music and not sing a word. He was like, 'Wow you know all of my stuff!' I told Donald, 'I will just sing the background (vocals) for you (during the concert). That was probably one of my great highlights as well."

All Rights Reserved-Copyright
By Joe Montague

Posted by Joe Montague at 2:42 PM

February 24, 2006

From Punk Rocker to World Class Jazz Artist

brendaearleheadshot.jpg"There is so much going on here. There is Latin Jazz, Avant Garde and Be Bop," contemporary Jazz vocalist Brenda Earle says of the New York City music scene. It all seems so distant from her days as a teenager wearing combat boots, black nail polish and listening to punk rock music while growing up in the central Canada city of Sarnia.

Earle who moved to New York City slightly more than three years ago says, "I already had an established career in Toronto (Canada). For four or five years after I graduated I was hanging out in Toronto. I was making a pretty good living playing gigs over there and I was one of the (artists) people would check out in Toronto. Then I uprooted myself (and moved) to New York City. I became a very small fish in a very big pond. I had to figure out how to support myself while doing music and also how to stand out while becoming established was a big double edged sword. It is definitely not for everybody. It is definitely a struggle but it has been worth it for me."

Although she may still be considered an emerging artist Brenda Earle had drawn rave reviews from the press with the Washington Post referring to "her finesse as a vocalist", The Press in New Zealand compares her music to a mixture of Frank Sinatra and Suzanne Vega and Canada's largest newspaper the Toronto Star giving her high marks as a pianist.

With the release of her third CD Happening Earle seems poised to take the next big step in letting the Jazz world know that she is ready to join the likes of world recognized Canadian talents Diana Krall, Marc Antoine and Oscar Petersen.

The fact that Earle pursued a career in music did not come as a surprise to those closest to her including her father who raised her as a single parent due to the death of Earle's mother. "When I was sixteen I thought, 'hey I can really do this.' At one point when I asked my dad what he thought about me doing music he said, 'Well what else would you do? Of course that makes sense.' He said, 'that is all you think about. You are at the school from seven in the morning until seven at night doing all the music stuff that is available."

She continues saying, "During most of my childhood I considered going into writing or journalism. I won a couple of poetry contests when I was younger. When I started to play music it seemed like an obvious fit for me. I was a bandleader in high school. I conducted the school chamber choir."

She has always been attracted to Jazz because it gives her the ability to improvise and in her words feel more "free". "For me it felt so much freer to be playing jazz because I could improvise and I could express myself in a different way." Earle says her rebellious nature made it difficult for her to merely follow the notes on a page. She adds, "I wanted to improvise and compose music. I wanted to do my own crazy arrangements of things. In that sense it (Jazz) was a better fit for me than playing classical music."

brendaearlehappening.jpg"On this CD (Happening) there are some more modern readings of old standards. "I'm Old Fashioned" is a different kind of reading where I reconstructed the song a little bit. I added and embellished a lot of stuff. There is a Police tune on there where it is all mixed metre and it has been transformed from the original. I am always doing that sort of thing where I am taking a tune and doing something with it that makes it feel more personal to me."

She describes her title track from the CD Happening as, "a crunchy piano tune. It was a song written about pure joy, being happy and being excited and feeling you are in the right place."

"October Rains" is based on my mother's death and is from the point of view of my father. It is very intense. It talks about how the passing of time heals. It is the idea of walking through an empty house and sensing smells and hearing sounds. At a certain point with the passing of years the pain goes away but there is always the feeling that person is still there."

"My mother passed away when we were very young. My dad managed to be very loving, nurturing and supporting to what my brother and I have chosen for our lives. He didn't have expectations of me because I was a woman. He fought for me to be treated like the guys. He wanted me to be successful. We have had these really great conversations over the years. "Somebody Else's Eyes" came out of our conversation concerning watching the people around us and seeing that these people start believing the lies that they tell themselves." Not to be misconstrued as a judgmental statement Earle includes herself in those observations, "We tell ourselves these lies and we start to believe them. The conversation (and the song) is about if you could only stop lying to yourself and get what it is that you really want from life. It is about being true to yourself and if you are able to do that you will able to be true to someone else. I put the song in the context of finding love," she says.

In response to my query about how her 1998 EP Her Main Claim To Fame compares to her later works I Take Requests and Happening Brenda tells me, "The thing that I have always been going for is to try and create something organic and really honest. Her Main Claim To Fame was just a five song EP and on it there is boogie woogie, swing, a standard, an Elvis Costello tune and there is an original piece on it. Even back then there was diversity. Over the years I have honed in on a more consistent sound but I think the thing I have always tried to do is be honest and say 'This is the music I want to make. This is what I am hearing. This is what I am feeling. I haven't tried to keep to an agenda of one particular sound."

Between 2000 and 2003 this blonde haired beauty worked for nineteen months as a musician and singer aboard cruise ships. She says of the experience, "I was going out there with the mindset of being a pretty strict Jazz musician where art has integrity and it has to swing and be very jazzy. It has to be rooted in that tradition however I had no choice but to submit to the environment. The environment was people wanted to request songs. They wanted to hear Billy Joel and Elton John. I had to learn how to play that kind of music. While I was doing that I discovered there is a lot more to music than the 32 bar and the swinging Cole Porter thing. That was a huge musical influence on me because once I started living within pop music and songs by the Beatles or Earth Wind and Fire I started to hear different sounds. I started to explore that musically." The experience led to the release of I Take Requests. The same year she also released the Jazz CD All She Needs.

Brenda Earle has never been one to shy away from making statements with her music and the cover of her CD All She Needs also made a statement. Whereas Her Main Claim To Fame and Happening present that girl next door look the cover of All She Needs presents a very tasteful but sexier Earle. "On All She Needs I worked with a wonderful photographer from Toronto and after listening to the record she wanted to capture an essence of something more seductive. It has an old fashioned look to it because it is sepia tone black and white. She had me in a fur coat, cocktail dress and vampy makeup," Brenda says.

Brenda Earle is a name you should remember and whose music you should check out because we are going to be listening to her music for many years. She is a gifted composer, talented vocalist and superb pianist. One gets the impression that the CD Happening really only gives us a foretaste of what is yet to come.

Posted by Joe Montague at 7:36 PM

February 20, 2006

Elegance, Romance and Seductive Compositions Define Julie Hardy

JulieHardy1.jpgIn some ways creating Julie Hardy's debut CD A Moment's Glance has been a lot like riding a bicycle built for two. Teaming up with boyfriend Randy Ingram a superb pianist Hardy's smooth Jazz vocals, original compositions and improvisations have made a statement that she is here to stay.

A Moment's Glance
is an elegant album that combines an element of romance and a hint of seductiveness. This New York City based twenty-eight year old uses lush harmonies to reinterpret Beatles' song "And I Love Her".

The careers of Jazz artists tend to develop more slowly than their cousins in the rock and pop genres. That being said Hardy has already attracted the attention of the Jazz world with invitations to the Jazz Academy Snowmass in 2002. This prestigious invitation was extended after she submitted two songs for consideration. Hardy was one of only two American vocalists to whom an invitation was given. Students come from schools such as Juilliard and Berklee. She followed this achievement with the 2003 invitation to attend the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC. Jazz Ahead is billed as identifying outstanding emerging Jazz artists still in their teens or mid twenties and bringing them under the tutelage of some of the music industry's most renowned gurus.

In July 2005 Hardy performed at the Tommy Gallant Seacoast Jazz Festival in New Hampshire and as September dawned she worked her magic at New York's Lincoln Centre.

Last year she officially released A Moment's Glance at New York's Jazz Standard and counts it among her favorite venues in which she has performed. "When I got to do the Jazz Standard I felt like I was in a little over my head. The Jazz Standard is a pretty big deal in New York. When I got on stage I still felt like I wasn't quite prepared for that experience. I think definitely I gained a lot of experience performing at the Jazz Standard."

While still attending the University of New Hampshire she was already directing the Jazz Choir. She also has an upcoming engagement as a judge at a music competition being staged by her old high school in New Hampshire. "It makes me feel like they think I know what I am doing," she says noting that she appreciates the recognition.

Julie describes her music as, "It is modern Jazz because the chords are more forward thinking similar to pianists such as Fred Hersch. I am more influenced by people who are here and now and composing today."

Her former teacher the highly respected Dominique Eade says, "Julie has a soulful and penetrating sound. Her musicianship is remarkable and you'll hear it reflected in her impressive writing, her innovative improvisation and her lovely interpretation."

Hardy has enjoyed great success in modernizing standards with new arrangements. She says, "I will re-harmonize the chord changes or I will substitute changes. I will put in a different time signature. I will add measures or take them out. I will add grooves. For instance with "Alright With Me" I made it more of an Afro Cuban Latin feel. When I do the arranging I try to respect the composer. I hope that people can still hear the story and understand the story. I don't want the arrangement to get in the way of that. If I add a bar or change something harmonically there is a reason for that and it comes straight from the lyrics. It's not just because I thought it would sound cool. There was a reason why I did what I did."

I asked Hardy if she considered it a wee bit daunting to interpret songs that are considered standards or classic tunes such as "And I Love You". "It is daunting. There are some composers that I feel I am not going to touch. I am not going to touch Wayne Shorter. I feel it would be very hard to make those songs better than they are. I think with the Broadway standards there is a lot that could be added," she says. Hardy wants to make it clear that not all her new arrangements are because she thinks she is improving the song. "I am able to express myself more if I put it in a context that is true to my music. A lot of the standards are from another era that for me I don't really connect with. That is why I feel I have to arrange some of these songs so I can connect with them," she says.

JulieHardy2.jpgShe also realizes, "There are critics who will say, 'Why did she do that to the song?' I am sure there are people out there who aren't into revamping old standards. Some people just want to hear standards straight down. The only song on my record that is straight ahead is "Haunted Heart". I approached that song completely different. That was coming from an emotional place. I had to mediate on getting into the space of what it is like to lose a loved one. I had to experience other people who had that happen. I had to try and live in that space and get into that space when I recorded it. That was a challenge in itself."

Hardy's music is born out of her personal experiences. "You experience more things and have more to draw upon. I have learned more about what my sound is and how to keep it coherent. It makes it easier just to connect with the audience because ultimately that is what matters. Giving something back to the people is always in the back of my mind. At the same time you can't try to be emotional, it has to come from inside you," the silky smooth chanteuse says.

"No Turning Back" was written about my move from Boston to New York. It is really like (saying there is) no turning back, here I am in New York. It is a story and kind of a wordless composition. Growing was actually written about Randy my boyfriend."

As Julie Hardy seeks to establish herself in the highly competitive New York City Jazz scene she pays tribute to the people who have helped her along the way. "My main mentor is Dominique Eade. There have been other people like Fred Hersch who really looked out for Randy and me when we first got here. It is really wonderful to have that support when you are new to the city," she says.

Her friend, confidant and lover Randy Ingram however has been her biggest source for encouragement. "Whenever I am unsure about something he will give his opinion. He is very tactful and sensitive about what he says. I also give him feedback about things you sometimes can't see yourself. He is great about being honest and candid," says Hardy.

She also notes that her friendship with vocalists such as David Devoe and Brenda Earle have helped her to adjust to the fast pace of New York.

Rarely does a young artist demonstrate the kind of composure possessed by Hardy. "I see it as being where it is supposed to be I guess. I am very comfortable. I don't feel like I am being pushed in any sort of direction. I am happy where I am right now and I feel like I just have to keep working at developing my own sound," she says.

Posted by Joe Montague at 12:25 AM

February 5, 2006

Tim Coffman Interview

Tim-Coffman.jpgTim Coffman's CD Nonstop To Paris dominated the European Jazz charts during 2005. The musician / songwriter turned producer also struck pay dirt in 2005 with his album Music From Beach Boulevard which married Hawaiian steel guitar to the sounds of retro / current surfer music to provide a melodic Jazz genre yet to acquire a name. If you like the taste of salt in the air, the feel of warm sand between your toes then close your eyes and crank up the volume because Coffman's music will whisk you away. Before the first song is over you will swear you can hear the waves lapping against the rocks.

I caught up with our American friend at his San Diego home early one Saturday morning. We talked about some of the lush tapestries he has created and the multi layered tunes that leave you breathless.

Thinking that maybe he would share with me his magic formula for the success of Nonstop To Paris I was surprised by Coffman's answer, "I don't know (what made it successful). I don't have an answer to that question. It is not what I would describe as a real true smooth Jazz album. It really deviates and goes in a few different directions. It has some Spy music on it and what I would describe as Funk tunes. One of the radio stations from Europe contacted me and they were playing one of the cuts that had a real authentic Italian accordion on it. The program director commented to me that he had to play this (song) because he never knew anyone to play an accordion on a smooth Jazz record. He was just amazed that somebody would actually do that. It has its own character. It is funny a lot of people liked the fact that it deviated a bit."

With Nonstop To Paris Coffman once again demonstrates a fondness for horns. He says, "Horns are one of my favorite things to record. I love horns. I do a lot of horn records."

When you look at the musicians that Coffman assembled for Nonstop To Paris it is easy to appreciate why the music sounds so good. Mitch Manker (Hootie and the Blowfish, Fattburger, Ray Charles) appears on trumpet as he did on Music From Beach Boulevard. Also doing double duty on both albums are guitarists T.J. Tindall (Bonnie Raitt, O'Jays) and Anthony Da Luz. The outstanding saxophone work of John Rekevics (Natalie Cole) seems almost a prerequisite for Coffman's productions because of this brass man's outstanding work. Coffman also appears playing several different instruments on his productions.

One of the key ingredients in Coffman's success is his ability to enjoy good music regardless of genre and to find elements that he can incorporate into his own styling. He is a composer who is not afraid to color outside the lines, sometimes in pastels sometimes in more vivid colors.

Coffman continues, "This may sound surprising but I don't put as much credence in style of music as I do the soul of music. Soul to me means when your heart is connected to your voice. What is inside of you is flowing through your instrument."

Coffman says he also likes to experiment and incorporate many different styles into his own music. He says that it broadens his audience. For Coffman though it goes much deeper than that because he is not merely content to create milquetoast music.

Music From Beach Boulevard was the sequel to the funkier Beach and Guitar released in 2004. For that album Coffman enlisted the services of surfer music pioneer Paul Johnson formerly of the sixties group the Belairs but better known for his work with the Surfaris who made the song "Wipeout" a fan favorite.

With both Guitar and Beach and Music From Beach Boulevard Coffman created a unique sound by recording using vintage '60's equipment and gear. He says, "What I wanted to do was (arrive at) an original sound and then print it to digital. I then wanted to change it somewhat so (I used) original gear and original microphones. When you listen to (the CD) it evokes the feeling from that time period. There are also enough new things going on that it sounds pretty modern in some ways."

When it came time to commit Music From Beach Boulevard to acetate Coffman recruited the services of Gary Brandin and Gordon Freitas to provide the vibes from their Hawaiian steel guitars. Accoustic and electric guitar work was provided by the combination of Coffman, Anthony Da Luz, Matt Quilter, renowned blues man Billy Thompson and Don Strandberg. Tony Patler mans the keys as he has on several of Coffman's albums. Coffman raves about Patler, "He has worked for many years off and on with Chaka Khan. He and another player named Bill Hayworth are just so creative. I just love working with those guys."

Rather than trying to play the part of prognosticator and address my question about where he thought the music industry is headed he gave me this answer, "I can tell you where it should go. Where it should go is towards more experimentation. It should go towards more honesty. It's funny we have all these new tools as musicians. You really don't have to use your imagination as much as you used to. It is not allowing us to get deep creativity. We have a lot of very shallow creativity but not real deep things. If you go back into the fifties, forties, thirties and twenties you find a lot of very deep composition. When you look at the chord changes and melodies it is extremely deep and extremely hard. It is hard to play for an average musician. I think we need to go back and get deeper into our songwriting, deeper in our production and still (retain) the same spontaneity. Does that make any sense?"

When Coffman established his company Rolltop Music in the early eighties he did so to fulfill a need he saw among fellow musicians. He told me it is often not until an artist has produced a second or third album that they are signed to a label. He also noted that an artist's financial resources are often limited. Coffman says he felt his company could meet a need by providing quality production that would attract more attention to the artist but doing so within the budgets available to most artists.

Rolltop Music also provides a vehicle through which Coffman can bring his own music to market. This year he has two of his own albums planned and is hoping to begin a project with his daughter Julie.

Tim Coffman Interview
By Joe Montague
All Rights Reserved-Copyright

Posted by Joe Montague at 9:40 AM