All right, here it comes again, one of those overnight
success stories… that spans about thirty years. If you
have already listened to Norm's music, perhaps that
is all you need to know. But if you like the when, who,
what and where about the artist, then read on. Norm
grew up in the heartland. No, he didn't study law in
a log cabin. He attended Youngstown State University
as a music education major. During his college years,
he played tenor sax with a number of groups in and around
Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Upon graduation from YSU,
he continued to do casuals, but most of his time was
occupied as a high school band director. After five
years or so, he decided he wasn't where he wanted to
be musically, financially or even geographically.
He put his music on hold and went into sales. He enjoyed
being an entrepreneur, although his chops suffered in
inverse proportion to his business success. His ventures
brought him out to Southern California in '85. For an
Ohio native, the climate was right not only for business,
but also the wearing of short-sleeved shirts and some
very cool music venues. Norm began to bump into various
artists who rekindled his musical passions.
The players were exceptional. The atmosphere was electric.
He was hooked again. The day gig was a money-maker,
but his heart and soul were in his horn. He began studying
with a very fine local alto player, Paul Carman, and
got into some regular stands with a keyboardist friend.
Norm developed not only as a player but also as a personality.
The local weekend stands expanded into major south coast
resort gigs such as Wind & sea, Harpoon Henry's, the
Ritz Carlton and the St. Regis. He was also asked to
appear at two major south-land venues, the Coachhouse
and the Galaxy Theater.
With encouragement from audiences and other players,
Norm finally went into the studio with pianist Ron Kobayashi
and a number of other respected players. The tunes were
all original, several by Ron. Others were contributed
by friends, and Norm himself scored the number 3 track,
called I CAN DO IT. Paul Carman, who has produced several
of his own projects as well as being an experienced
studio player, helped with the arranging. Finishing
touches came from Steve Wood, a composer,
most recent credits include the award winning soundtrack
to the IMAX film, EVEREST. Steve developed a very melodic
and accessible style as music director for Kenny Loggins
and this is very evident on Norm's first solo project,
THE FIRST TIME.
Today, Norm still teaches. His first CD, as well as subsequent
collaborations mark the culmination of a trip that actually
began nearly thirty years ago. Yet every time Norm goes
on stage, it feels like the FIRST TIME.
You can also watch Norm on YouTube!
Back to top