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Lazz's Profile

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27-October 05
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Lyricist, Composer or Both?:
Musical Influences?:
Dave Frishberg, Fran Landesman, Oscar Hammerstein, Noel Coward, etcetera...

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About Me

Together with my favourite song-writing collaborator, Pat Coleman, I am owner of ‘Hip Pocket Music’, and two small independent specialist labels – first the decidedly jazzoid ‘RoadHouse’ and later a little singer-songwriter imprint called ‘Root Cellar’. While admittedly I fantasised some about the idea when I was younger, like lots of other kids, I never really seriously expected to have any career in music at all – but just sort of drifted into it. Almost as if dreams were magnetic.

Except for the occasional mistaken spotty teen-aged outing – it was actually not until approaching my thirtieth birthday in foreign parts that I embarked upon performance with earnest commitment and real intent. Even then, a couple of busy decades slipped by between my first stumbling attempts at making original songs and my happy arrival at a truly satisfying level of craft-confidence and the ability to deliver professional goods.

I know I could have got here quicker, but maybe taking the long way round has other benefits.

Footloose and fickle, I had already done mild clerical gigs, a little record retail, hard labour as a river-side timber-porter and as a tunnel-miner on sections of London’s underground system, planted 100,000 trees by hand, loafed around as a lifeguard and faked it as a west-coast tour-guide…. but from those first struggling moments of conviction on discovering a deep need for personal expression, my focus became broader and tighter on everything else too, and I somehow changed-up an entire skill-set such that soon, alongside this late-start gigging apprenticeship, I began paying the rent with day-time communications projects here and there, writing and editing, some photography, the design of special curriculum media, being educational consultant for a UN conference … stuff like that, picked up a couple of degrees along the way, and was founder-manager of celebrated hooligan co-operative orchestra ‘Loose Tubes’ over a seven year career encompassing radio and TV nonsense, the international touring circuit, recording schedules, marketing, promotion, production… the complete business. Indie before it was called indie. Truly a big deal. I learned a lot of valuable stuff.

These days, I perform less and scribble more. There is a complete stage musical totally ready-to-go for which I provided the libretto in partnership with composer Dick Smith (compensating somewhat for the half-written botanical detective story still mouldering on the back-burner) and a growing catalogue of healthy original Coleman-Lazzerini songs. Local vocalist Tania Hancheroff laid half-a-dozen tracks down for our trade demo. Stevie Vallance included a couple on “Make My Night”. Joe Coughlin recorded a bunch more on his “Things Turn Out That Way” to win the National Jazz Award as male vocalist of the year for 2008 and then again for the same in 2009. Way beyond the bounds of Canada’s wild west-coast where I currently hang out, the UK’s own award-winning Claire Martin chose two for her new release "A Modern Art" and is currently singing them on tour, while Pepi Lemer has an upcoming project for which she is also expressing keen interest in our work. These were things to smile about.

Disappointingly, if predictably, things about which to grimace followed hard on the heels of these smug small celebrations. Reversals of fortune brought closure to both record-labels while ageing brought physical challenge alongside an essential frugality. It is an old story.

What's new has been a revitalising intensive course on theory and arranging, encouragement from a nearby academic faculty for me to pursue a doctorate, and personal preparation for a return to performance.

Life gets tougher - but it will do until the real thing comes along.
Hip Pocket Music

"It is the best of all trades to make songs...
and the second best to sing them"

Hillaire Belloc

“SONG is the joint art of words and music, two arts under emotional pressure coalescing into a third.
The relation and balance of the two arts is a problem that has to be resolved anew in every song that is composed.”

The Encyclopedia Britannica

My Information

Member Title:
A Muse's Muse
67 years old
July 8, 1946
Vancouver BC

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  1. Photo

    Lazz Icon

    17 Jun 2012 - 19:10
    (But I do know Bill Goodie.)
  2. Photo

    Madison Icon

    04 Jun 2012 - 12:56
    Do you know Bill Oddie? :)
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