A New Face - Make Mine an OliRockberger Please- with Zero Cheese!
Chris Farr, who now plays drums in my band, is one of the only drummers I have worked with who could make me cry with his playing. He is a musician who deeply understands the notion of playing the song and not just his instrument, or the specific section at hand. He is one of the most creative drummers I have worked with, balancing impeccable taste, soul and groove, with exceptional listening and support. He is very mature in his approach to music-making and this separates him in my mind from many top quality young drummers out there. I am constantly moved playing with both of them at the level of communication and dialogue which goes on during a performance.
Mitch Cohn is another great young bassist- we've worked on my material and on his original music. He has been a very important and positive influence on me as a writer and as a player. Jordan Perlson, a young Berklee drummer with whom I have worked a great deal, was one of the first drummers who I worked with on my original music and is a hard-grooving, extremely versatile and tasty drummer. He set the benchmark high in my mind for what I would like a drummer to bring to my music.
It was an honor to share the stage with Hiromi Uehara in the Berklee Performance Center for the 2002 Commencement Concert. She is one of the finest young pianists around, a great friend and is very supportive to me. Other young Berklee pianists/keyboardists to look out for are Ruslan Sirota, Romain Collin and Davy Nathan who are great inspirations to me whenever I see and hear them play. Performing with electric bassist Mark Kelly [note: Kelly is now with John Scofield] at Boston's Wally's was another period of immense growth for me and he is one of my favorite young musicians too.