Self-taught, my development has led me here.  Born out of a love for music and the desire to do more than just listen.    







{Some Favorite Musicians / Influential Artists}




                                                                                   Keyboardists:   Chick Corea, Lyle Mays, Bob James, Jeff Lorber, Ramsey Lewis, Steve Winwood, Tony Banks, Richard Wright



                                                                                   Guitarists:       Al DiMeola, Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, David Gilmour, Lindsey Buckingham, John Frusciante



                                                                                   Bassists:         Stanley Clarke, Jonas Hellborg, Jaco Pastorius, Bunny Brunel, Chris Squire, Geddy Lee, Flea (Michael Balzary)



                                                                                   Drummers:     Dennis Chambers, Lenny White, Billy Cobham, Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl, Neil Peart, John Bonham



                                                                                   Vibists:           Milt Jackson, Cal Tjader








{Reflection - Music Biography}




Once Upon A Time...


Music has always been an important part of my life and it developed into quite a past-time for me.  As a very young child, I can recall the days when my Mother would take me with her to visit my Grandmother, the late Elvira Iandolo.  If she wasn't feeding me something.. she knew she could keep me occupied by taking out her record player.  I remember it well, strange looking thing.. orange, uniquely shaped.. semi-circular at one end, with a hood that lifted to mount records.  Being all of 5 or 6 at the time, it was cool to me how it looked like it was eating them.. lol  but more fascinating were the sounds coming from it.  I recall a variety of music at the house down on Carter Street.  Some ethnic, some more popular from the times.  


Growing up as a young boy throughout the seventies, I remember sitting in my brother Ed and Ken's basement level apartment listening to a lot of music.  Countless albums.. several times over..  My brother Ken had quite a collection, but between Ken and Ed's combined selection of music, it opened my ears to al ot of Classic Rock from the sixties and seventies, as well as some Soul/R&B from back in the day.  Some of my favorite artists back then were The Beatles, J. Geils, The Allman Brothers, The Doobie Brothers, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Boston, Steely Dan, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Billy Joel..  Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, George Benson and Jeffrey Osbourne..  from the Soul/R&B genre.  As my own record collection grew, I can remember spending several hours listening to music in my own room, "playing drums" on padded chairs with pencils or rulers.. 


As I grew into my teenage years, during the eighties, I began to appreciate more music from the classic Rock genre from artists like Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Santana, Traffic, Genesis, Yes and artists like Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood among others.  I watched for new music by these artists and others while listening to several local FM radio stations.  This also allowed me to discover new artists and genres as I expanded my musical taste.  In the early eighties, I discovered bands like U2 and The Police from a local station playing mainly post-punk or alternative music.  This well before they became world renowned Popular Rock groups.  Around the mid eighties, I started to get into the Blues, largely due to a local FM station playing blues only at night.  That's where I first heard the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Robert Cray.  Two of my favorites in the genre.  Soon came my introduction to Jazz, initially a "Smooth\Popular Jazz" phase, which developed during my late teens and into my twenties, also through local radio.  At this time, artists like Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton, The Yellowjackets, Spyro Gyra, Acoustic Alchemy, Bob James.. were some of my favorites.  Some of these bands or musicians are actually known as "Crossover Jazz" artists.  At one time recording less mainstream Jazz Fusion albums, before writing to please a more expansive pop music oriented audience.     


The nineties rolled around, and it was about '93 when I hooked up with good friend and fellow Northeastern University alumn Gino Foti, that I started branching out into more complex and fascinating forms of Jazz and Rock.  He opened my ears, and mind, to Jazz Fusion and much more Progressive Rock.  My taste in music turned towards more interesting complex odd-time rhythmic based compositions, by performers of wizard musicianship.  Soon, Jazz Fusion would become more of a focus of mine throughout the nineties, following artists like Al DiMeola, Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, Lenny White and their work as a unit in Return To Forever. Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, Chester Thompson, Jaco Pastorius from Weather Report. Others like Jean Luc Ponty, Jeff Lorber, Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, John Scofield, Jonas Hellborg to name a few... also becoming favorites of mine. 


In the late nineties and on into the new millennium, I began developing more of an interest in other forms of Rock than in the past, like the work and playing of people like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai in the Hard Rock vein.  John Frusciante and bassist Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers, with their unique blend of Funk and Rock..  There was also much more of an appreciation for great musicians of the past, for instance, with people like Bill Ward and Geezer Butler, who made up that great rhythm section in Black Sabbath, in the Metal genre.  


Over the years, I have built up a diverse musical taste which started as a young child. 




Divine Intervention? 


When I sat down at a piano for the first time I was comfortable.  It wasn't awkward or real difficult for me to come up with some riffs, based on instinct and "good ears". I remember when I used to go into electronics or music stores and gravitate over to the keyboards.  I might be there for half an hour, wondering when I was going to get told to beat it by some sales person..  I thought about buying one and really learning to play, but hesitated, thinking it might become a distraction to my studies in high school and college, or that I might not be able to devote enough time to it.


After graduating from college a few years prior, I met Gino at work around 1993.  He studied music and had been playing both bass and keyboards for awhile.  We shared an alma mater, similar ethnic background and a love for music.  A fellow co-worker played keyboards as a hobby and Gino invited him up to his house to jam a few times.  At one point, I was invited up to have a listen and was even given a chance to do some damage of my own.  While at work, I continued to hear about the jam sessions until all of a sudden the keyboard players wife wouldn't allow him to continue.  Apparently, his being a Jehovah's Witness made it a problem.  At least that's what we were told.  We weren't sure if it actually had more to do with his spending too much time away from her than anything else, but it turned into an opportunity for me to come up Gino's house and jam on keys once in awhile.  Over time, I felt I was improving and it became the driving force for me to finally go out and get that keyboard of my own. 




Where do we go from here?


After buying myself a low budget keyboard, I started practicing and playing along with my vast collection of music on CD, a few fake books and with Gino's help, learning some music theory.  Soon, more friends would come up to Gino's to jam on other instruments.  As time moved on, Gino and I left for other jobs, but continued to keep in touch.  We would still get together for jam sessions, sometimes attend concerts at different venues or shows at the local jazz clubs.  A few times we went over to one of his co-workers from MIT Labs who played drums.  It was great to put that drum machine to rest.. and we had a guitar player there on another occasion.  My first experience playing in a true 4 piece band setting.  When told I acquitted myself well by the other guys, it felt good and gave me even more motivation to keep practicing so I could improve. 


Before long, I started to become interested in song writing and studied techniques.  I then got involved in computer based recording, initially through MIDI, while I began to start researching using computers to record music more in depth.  What could be better?  Combining my love for music and computers together!  Meanwhile, Gino helped me to better understand the art of composing and more complex music theory.


During this time, Gino was putting together a home recording studio, writing music and attempting to put a power trio together in the vein of one of his favorite bands.. Rush. Eventually he met up with guitarist Dave Kulju and drummer Joe Musmanno to form Electrum.  In the coming years, Electrum went on to produce two CD's.  'Frames of Mind'  in 1998 and 'Standard Deviation' in 2002.  In between the two releases, during some of the bands downtime, Gino and I worked on a few ideas for compositions together.  One was in it's infant stage, but ended up being further developed by Electrum for 'Standard Deviation', and another got tucked away for later, as it was further developed by me on 'Cycles Of Fusion' as "Crossing Pathways".  As a result, I became more motivated to write and record.  I ended up putting together my own home recording studio, building a Digital Audio Workstation and starting a library of samples and sounds to use within compositions.  At the same time, I was really getting into what Joe Satriani was doing on guitar, and in the studio, to the point where I gave thought to actually playing a second instrument. 


After Electrum's second release in 2002, Gino continued to compose and develop music, not knowing when or if they were ready to put together a third CD.  During the bands downtime, he decided he was going to do a solo project..  which turned into 4 solo projects worth of music years later..  He asked me to collaborate with him on a few tracks.  I took the two songs and wrote piano parts, then recorded my performances. In 2006, in the World Fusion genre,  'Orbis Terrarum',  'Sphere Of Influence', 'Bhavachakra' and 'Vedic Mantras' were released.  My performances on piano can be heard on the tracks "A Brief Eclipse" from 'Orbis Terrarum' and "Degrees Of Force" from 'Sphere Of Influence'


Note: Links to tracks are 1 minute audio excerpts.




Jack of all.. Master of none?...


I can remember the first couple of times I had a guitar in my hands it was awkward to play.  A buddy of mine from High School, Bill Raimo, was starting to play at the time.  He let me mess around with it, but it kind of turned me off initially. I was more interested in playing keys and felt like I didn't have enough time or free cash to spend on one anyway, so I didn't pursue it.  At some point down the road.. around 2002 that all changed. I got the bug and once again found my way into music stores to get that temporary fix.  This time, it felt a little different.. I had an idea of how to actually play by studying up on it and watching other guitarists more intently.  Also, having played keys for awhile and having a good ear helped me to make some "musical sense" with the instrument.  After spending some time with a few acoustics and an electric, without chasing innocent bystanders away.. or getting the boot from sales staff members.. I felt like I might be ready to take the next step.  I knew a co-worker with a spare Fender strat.  He let me borrow it and gave me enough time to feel comfortable in taking the plundge.  Thanks Dan Moon!  At that point, I had been playing keys for several years and wanted to pick up another instrument, meanwhile thinking about doing a music project.  So I went ahead and purchased a Joe Satriani Ibanez JS model, then began practicing to the point where I could do something useful with it.




Putting "The Band" together...


With an eye toward doing a solo project, the plan was to do something performance rich.  I wanted to play or have control over most of the instruments for compositions and not be locked into using mainly audio loops for a majority of the arrangements.  Over the years, while composing some music with Gino, I was messing around with several ideas of my own to give me a head start.  Purchasing a much more powerful computer system gave me the ability to work with several digital audio applications and virtual instruments.  In time, I had built an arsenal of piano, synthesizer and organ samples, as well as live bass and drum sampled virtual instruments, to go along with some useful collections of pro audio loops.  This created the flexibility and control I needed to compose and arrange the music in my mind.. over time. 





The Music - Instrumental "Music Fusion"...  The Project - 'Cycles of Fusion'


No lyrics. No vocals.


Trust me, nobody needs to hear me sing!


Compositions created by "fusing" Jazz, Rock, Blues and some Funk thrown in for good "measures", channeling the sound and work of my favorite bands or musicians.


In 2006, with focus and a goal in mind, I was further developing many old ideas to go along with several new ones.  When 2009 rolled around, I had several compositions in the works at different stages of development.  Over time, I narrowed these down to the ones which would make it to final mixdown.  Arrangements incorporating retro keyboard sounds from many classic synthesizers and electric pianos, along with acoustic piano, acoustic and electric guitar, orchestral strings, bass, drums and other percussive instruments.  As well, more specific to this particular project, sequences, arps and atmospheric synths, were used to help create "celestial soundscapes".  Staying true to the theme, while adding something different and interesting to the overall sound palette.


As 2011 rolled around I began coming up with packaging ideas for CD production, meanwhile developing this website. 


'Cycles of Fusion' was eventually released on August 8th, 2011.




I continue to enjoy listening to music and developing new ideas of my own into compositions. 


Stay tuned for updates through my News & Notes section over time.