Fifty Years!

Tomorrow marks fifty years (yep - 50!) of playing the Trumpet.

Also referred to as “the humiliating mistress” this instrument continues to humble me… each and every day. This makes me think of the comments by the late (and great) Dizzy Gillespie:

“Some days you put the Horn to your lips and every thing works - and you win. Other days you put the Horn to your lips and nothing works… the Horn wins. This goes on, and on… and on… and then you die. And the Horn Wins

Beautiful Dizzy X

the Beatnik Preachers...

2019 will see the launch, inaugural performances and recordings of my newly formed quartet, the Beatnik Preachers. A twist on Jazz and Beat Poetry combining my love for improvisation and the spoken word. The project is not an attempt to re-invent ‘the wheel’ but it is indeed fitting some White-Wall Tyres to the Jazz-mobile.

The project will be launched at a private event (invitation only) in late February 2019. The quartet features: Tony King (double bass), Robbie Mercer (drums), Joel Smithard (piano) and yours truly on Trumpet and Spoken Pictures (poetry).

the Beatnik Preachers - musically evocative, lyrically provocative… Stay tuned

Clifford Brown - Continuously Humbled

I grew up through my 20’s idolising the great jazz trumpeters. None more so than Clifford Brown. He died in a car accident at only 25 yet left an incredible legacy of recordings, through which I am still working. Revisiting some transcriptions of his solos today and the humility is once again profound; 1953 until his death a few years later he was on fire! If I get to play even a portion of the voice leading, rhythmic interest and harmonic outlines that Clifford did then I’ll be very grateful. Until then, the humility continues… Thank you Clifford x


Julia Messenger @ the Melbourne Recital Centre: Sept' 22nd

I'll be very proudly performing trumpet with the wonderful Julia Messenger later this month at the Melbourne Recital Centre, Sept' 22nd. The band behind Julia is seriously awesome: David Jones (Drums), Mark Fitzgibbon (Piano) and Craig Newman (bass). Event is apparently SOLD OUT but rumours of a few still at the door on the night. SO looking forward to this one...


Does this count ?

I’m usually posting about gear that allows us to colour or process a signal but none of the chain is very useful without something in front of the microphone. How about this...

the Midnight Summit by Harrelson

the Midnight Summit by Harrelson

I am utterly besotted. How absolutely gorgeous is “she?” So now I need about $7.5k AU... #hornfancy

I hereby invite the Universe to provide me with the means to own this beautiful instrument :)

My Two Mistresses...


Since the age of 7 I've had an affair with the Trumpet. At 15 I entered my first recording studio and fell in love with the art of recording and all it's machinations.

Finding a balance has always proven problematic for me, especially over the last two decades where folks have been more than happy to pay me six times what they'd pay for a Jazz gig on the Horn and have me record, mix or master their performances. This is still essentially the same, with musicians being paid around the same performance fees that we were thirty years ago; sort of depressing isn't it?

But as life see-saws and weighing up the need to prioritise finances over artistic indulgence alters the scales it appears the balance is beginning to change. I am managing to find small pockets of time between parenting and engineering to devote to practice.

Today I bought a new stand for the Horn so 'she' can sit alongside me whenever I'm engineering. Within arms reach like the rest of my analogue hardware, so is now the first love of my life; and the affair continues...

Jeff Lang: Superlative Gentleman

Jeff Lang @ the Skylark 1.jpg

I was absolutely humbled this evening, both as a musician and engineer. Very fortunate to do FOH mix for Jeff Lang @ the Skylark Lounge. Awesome. Sincerely - absolutely awesome. I have not heard lap steel and guitars played this well since jamming with Lucky Oceans (pedal steel) and Jeff Lang is so in the same league. If you've not had the pleasure to hear Jeff perform please add it to your bucket list 'cos this guitarist is one Superlative Gentleman indeed. Thank you Mr Lang.


It amazes me just how trusting creatures can be when we don't threaten or scare them. I only provide the birds from the neighbouring forest with water - no food. They can source theirs naturally. But since ensuring the water tub is freshly topped up every day or so the birds are happy to come... and hang. This evening I had a particularly settled visitor who, it would appear, likes a bit of the 1976 OLD's Recording tone?

iPhone in my left hand, trumpet in my right - nearly dropped both at one point - eek!