Marcus Belgrave

I've been trying to hold back from saying something but I can't. I've been fighting tears. Marcus Belgrave was so meaningful in my life. One day he gave me and Omar Lateef the biggest whooping ever on the blues at…Read more

Michael Jackson: The Quincy Years

Michael Jackson: The Quincy Years
My brother Brad asked me,"What was MJ's best album?" This is a hard question and almost impossible to answer. My cousin Teshenia says I need to answer things better; however, this is still a trick…Read more

Bessie Lee Henderson

My mother passed on September 9, 6:00am CST.  I miss her dearly.

I'm so grateful for the concert we had at the funeral.  There wasn't much crying.  Why?  I wanted to celebrate her life.  We had glorious singing by Kisma…Read more

Dream Come True: Maurica

I haven't blogged in a while.  My mother has been sick.  She's been situated. AMEN!!!

I recently recorded a great singer last month.  She nailed the part of Pearl to a science on a song I wrote with Marcus and…Read more

How to write a composition or story Part Three

Really, this should be called,"Don't have an ego"

I'm an emotional artist.  I put some much into every note I compose, every phrase I arrange, and every word I write.  Therefore, I become attached to everything.

With that…Read more

Production 101: Rhythm Section

The most influential album in my life is arguably Quincy Jones' Sounds and Stuff Like That.  In the liner notes (written by Alex Haley) Q calls Anthony Jackson, Eric Tee, Phil Upchurch, and Grady Tate the greatest rhythm section…Read more

How to write a composition or story Part Two

When writing your story, one thing to perhaps keep in mind is how long will your story be.  I was CONVINCED when I first wrote my upcoming book that it was going to be a novelette.

Novelette?  Okay, let…Read more

How to write a composition or story

Many people have asked me, "How do you write a story?" or "How do you write a piece of music?"

To answer the question directly, one must storyboard.

Traditionally, storyboard is defined as a sequence of drawings, typically with some…Read more

The French Horn

I have received numerous compliments on my writing for the French Horn.  Although I am grateful for them, the truth is I can't take too much credit for it.  I was immersed into a culture where the French Horn was…Read more

Video Part 1

I have recently filmed my first video production EVER!!! I must admit, I was nervous as all heck.
Nonetheless, it was a success.  I have to give much props to Kamal Smith for his invaluable tidbits.

This video will be…Read more

Arranging vs Composing

There was a gentleman who told me that he had a professor who said "arranging was the same thing as composing."
Au contraire mon frère, ce n'est pas vrai. There is a huge DIFFERENCE.   I think the best way…Read more

Dead German's Greatest Hits and Music that swings!

We often make a fatal mistake of attempting to separate the so-called classical tradition of African American music with our rich and profoundly influential improvisational traditions. Ellington, Strayhorn, Monk and Mingus should appear on any list of African American composers.Read more