Please allow me to introduce myself ...

Posted by: fred simon on 28 August 2000

Forgive the shameless self-promotion to follow. I thought I'd add a bit more information about myself and the other musicians on my new album, "Dreamhouse," especially for those who are not familiar with my previous work. This information is taken from the biographies printed in the liner booklet; I hope it's cool with Anna that I'm posting it (insert emoticon here).

Let me just say from the start that I'm really excited about my association with NAIM, and hope that it is a long lived and fruitful one. I'm grateful to Ken Christianson and everyone at NAIM for giving me the opportunity to share my music with an astute audience.

I've been making music for nearly thirty years, composing for records, live performance, film, dance, and television, with instrumentation ranging from solo piano to symphonic orchestra. My recorded work includes four albums of original music under my name: "Short Story" and "Time and the River" (Quaver), "Usually/Always" (Windham Hill), and "Open Book" (Columbia); three albums with the Simon and Bard Group: "Musaic," "Tear It Up," and "The Enormous Radio" (Flying Fish); as well as "Twilight" (NorthWord Press) [recently reissued as "Candlelight" on NorthSound Music Group], a collaboration with reed player Paul McCandless and guitarist Teja Bell; "The Music of the Beach Boys" (NorthSound Music Group), a record of solo piano arrangements of Brian Wilson songs; and numerous appearances on samplers released by Windham Hill, Columbia, Narada, Private Music, Imaginary Road, and NorthSound Music Group.

I've recorded and/or performed with Ralph Towner, Paul McCandless, Larry Coryell, Lyle Mays, Iain Matthews (founding member of Fairport Convention), Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra violinist), Steve Rodby and Paul Wertico (both members of the Pat Metheny Group), Bonnie Herman (Singers Unlimited), Kurt Elling, Fareed Haque, David Onderdonk, Ingrid Graudins, Ross Traut, The Stan Kenton Orchestra, and many others.

Bass player Kelly Sill has worked for over twenty-five years, both in the Chicago area and around the world, with a distinguished and diverse roster of musicians, including: Hank Jones, Dave Liebman, Woody Shaw, Eddie Harris, Ruth Brown, Clark Terry, Joe Henderson, Tommy Flanagan, Freddie Hubbard, Mose Allison, Ernie Watts, and Art Blakey. He has also performed and recorded with the Simon and Bard Group, shared a leader role with drummer Joel Spencer on their album "The Brighter Side," which features current Steely Dan saxophonist Chris Potter, and he can be heard with composer/pianist Kelly Brand on her albums "A Dream in a Stone" and "Sister Luna," as well as on many other recordings by various artists. He is also much in demand as a teacher and clinician at many prominent jazz education programs and institutions.

Sarah Allen has drummed her way through a vast range of musical situations for more than twenty years, performing and recording throughout the U.S. and in Europe and Asia with jazz, pop, folk, theatrical, klezmer and classical ensembles, including the Fred Simon Quartet/Trio, the Modern Klezmer Quartet, Bobbi Wilsyn, Bobby Conn, and Steppenwolf Studio Theater. Sarah danced and drummed as a member of Jellyeye Drum Theater, and is a tympanist and percussionist in the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Chicago Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Samuel Magad; her percussion work can also be heard on the recording of the world premier of Kay Gardner's "Ouroboros." Sarah can currently be seen and heard at Briar Street Theater in Chicago, as a featured drummer in the Blue Man Group production. Sarah is also a member of NAIM recording artist Patrick Noland's trio.

I hope everyone gets a chance to check out "Dreamhouse" ... I'm extremely proud of it. I look forward to hearing from anyone who wants to shout out, either in this forum or directly via email. Thanks for listening.

Posted on: 30 August 2000 by Phil Ward

Nice to see a Naim Label artist on the Forum. I'm sure there's a few more contributors like me out there that have a copy of Dreamhouse, or there soon will be (come on guys!). It's a great disc and, yes, you should be proud.


Posted on: 30 August 2000 by fred simon

Thanks so much for your enthusiastic endorsement; I'm glad you're digging the music. It's a real pleasure to hear directly from someone who has received the musical transmissions I'm sending across the universe. The immediacy of this is so modern and so cool.


Posted on: 31 August 2000 by Paul Stephenson
Thanks for the insight, I wonder on a general level about your feelings regarding the future for the artist in this changing world.
The commercial demands from the media and stores against the high cost of recording and marketing? You have to sell a whole lot of records to stay on the circuit recording wise., and what about the use of the www, mp3 and so on?..
Posted on: 01 September 2000 by fred simon
Good question. In these days of "high late capitalism," as James Taylor has described them, I'm afraid that the prognosis is negative ... batten down the hatches and run for the hills.

But seriously, it ain't gettin' easier. The delicate balance between art and commerce is way out of alignment; civilization seems more and more beholden to a bottom-line in which art and artists are increasingly devalued.

However, having brought new life into the world a little more than a year ago, I find it almost instinctively impossible to surrender to pessimism, for her sake if not my own. I certainly can't and won't stop making music, and if there comes a time when no one will help me get it out into the world, I'll have to do it myself. If the proliferation of music on the internet facilitates this in some way, then good may come of it.

Posted on: 01 September 2000 by Paul Stephenson
I agree we find ourselves with a stance akin to yours, when we are trying to sell hifi to people who are interested in music and sometimes the market confuses potential customers about the need for music in the home. The kit is for the music. No Surrender.
Posted on: 01 September 2000 by bob atherton

Welcome, & good to hear from you. Anyone who has performed or recorded with Ralph Towner has a great deal of respect from me & I will certainly check out some of your recordings.


(semi pro bass player, Eberhard Weber is my mentor)

Posted on: 01 September 2000 by fred simon
I recorded with Ralph on the Simon and Bard Group record Tear It Up (with Ralph Towner). It was a real pleasure plus he kept us in stitches laughing the whole time.

Paul McCandless, who I regard as highly as Ralph both as performer and composer, played on my album Usually/Always and on the collaboration Candlelight (nee: Twilight). I played and programmed synths on his album Premonition and also played synths on the tour that followed in an incredible band: McCandless, Lyle Mays on piano, Steve Rodby on bass, and Mark Walker on drums. That was a short lived super group.

Posted on: 01 September 2000 by fred simon
Forgot to mention that Eberhard Weber is one of my all time favorite composer/musicians, and his music has had a tremendous impact on me through the years.
Posted on: 01 September 2000 by Bob Edwards

Just thought I would say that Usually/Always is one of my favorite records.

Great to have you on the forum and on the Naim label.



Posted on: 01 September 2000 by fred simon

Thanks for your warm welcome, and I'm flattered that Usually/Always is one of your favorites. To be unabashedly honest, it's one of mine, too. Sometimes it's hard to go back and listen to older work -- so much I want to improve -- but U/A still holds up well for me.