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08 June 2008


cbj smith

A wonderful and heartfelt tribute to Bill Finnegan. I first knowingly made contact with Bill's music when a few of his charts from the 50's showed up on the bandstand of a rehearsal band I was playing with. I couldn't believe this had been written almost 50 years ago! It was so fresh and inventive; not so much in terms of the vocabulary, but what he was able to accomplish with a standard big band and the same notes everyone else was using. I looked up the name and discovered that I was already familiar with a lot of his writing, and he had kept on writing well past the 50's. I put on his music whenever I have to get an idea of what is possible within the confines of whatever I have been restricted to in one of my projects.

Brookmeyer's note, while it brought the tears to my eyes, did contain one error of fact. Robert Farnon, whom he refers to as "English", was by birth and training Canadian. Like Kenny Wheeler, he moved to England in his twenties and spent most of his career there and adopted a British accent, so it was an easy mistake to make.

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