Moon & Sand
Estate, sweet summer, cast as an errant lover. Moon, and sand, and the memory of a kiss full of elusive promises. One returns to the beach in winter searching for answers to questions so ambiguous as to render the notion of an answer moot. *************** I began this project without trepidation. I sing because it is my first instrument and I have always sung. But I do not practice singing. My models are Dizzy, Zoot, Jack Sheldon, Earl Warren; singing horn players whom I have heard get away with singing very casually. It seems so easy when on the bandstand and the moment feels just right. The audience is caught by surprise and responds favorably. Some even express disappointment with the lack of vocals on my existing CDs. However, once I started to record this CD, it was a different matter. The voice is an instrument with no keys, buttons, strings or reeds. One does not put one's hands on it. It has to be made to work by will power alone. Will power, and as other instruments, practice. Even though the basic tracks were laid down in one afternoon (thanks to the wonderful support of Tony, John and Joe) the CD was not ready for mixing for another year-and-a-half. Well, so much for apologies. The songs were chosen for their lyric qualities as much as for their melodic and harmonic strengths. One of the advantages to being a casual singer is that one can be very picky about the material. Each of these songs holds some poetic resonance for me, whether it is an ironic twist, a personal connection or both. The one instrumental of the set, 'Frank Fuller's Waltz,' was written in memory of a good friend of Tony's and mine. Frank Fuller was a drummer. He was not a flashy, technically impressive type of player but with him in the rhythm section I always felt a marvelous freedom. His time was so sure and his groove so solid. Frank was a master of a swinging, joyous 3/4 feel and I came to consider the 'jazz waltz' a necessary part of my repertoire as a result of his influence. Thanks to Tony for asking for John and Joe; to Peter for friendship and good advice; to Peg E. for asking the questions that led me to Sally Weisman for her coaching and support; to Paul Broadnax and a whole long list of singing instrumentalists for inspiration and the courage to attempt this project. -Paul Combs, 2000 ************** About Paul Combs Paul Combs received his earliest musical training in voice and trombone and studied saxophone, harmony and counterpoint as a teenager. He graduated with a B.Mus. In composition from the Philadelphia Musical Academy and earned his M.M. in performance at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His eclectic career has included performing, composing for theater, film radio and television, and producing and announcing at radio stations in Philadelphia and Boston. From 1986 to 1999 he worked full-time in music education, and was very active in the Mass. Music Educators Association. Currently Paul is working as a free-lance performer, educator and author.