While jazz is at the core of my music, I became interested in American roots music after hearing Appalachian fiddle players in West Virginia. I explored a variety of fiddle styles and drew upon them in a number of my tunes. For the first couple of years in this new phase of my music many of my originals were fairly simple tunes. I focused on composing melodies and, unlike my earlier work, did not write ensemble scores (until 2008).
Through the 1990's, jazz and roots music became intertwined in unusual ways in my writing. As my music evolved, it expressed a wide range of styles along with expanded harmonic color, a quirky humor in much of my work, and a fluid, musically expressive approach to time.
Importantly, this music was directly inspired by my life experiences in Maryland and West Virginia. Many of my tunes were inspired by places around the area; in particular, the Appalachian Mountains and Chesapeake Bay. Ideas for new music were all around me as I went through each day.
The new qualities that developed in my music became "my voice". In hindsight, it is clear to me that I needed to live here in order to write this particular music.