The Early Years
In the early years David spent a lot of time listening to recordings of many really good musicians, and also watching some play live. This helped him greatly in getting familiar with different timing, intensely creative improvisation, and a “feel” for different styles of music, including folk, soft rock, progressive rock, classical rock, musicals, jazz and jazz rock.
Then one day a professional jazz musician friend of his told him about a unique way he practiced, where he would play with the best musicians in the world by putting on their record and playing along with them.
David took his friend’s advice and after many months of practicing in this way, he remembered thinking to himself at that time, “I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of this now. I’m increasing my confidence by having to keep up with these guys, who before, I only idolized.”
It gave him the opportunity to calmly explore his own creative improvising, without having to concern himself with the usual mistakes made while learning something new.
During that period he also wrote songs, but was never fully satisfied with his direction in life.He knew there was more to life than what he was doing, but hadn’t quite figured it out yet.
Then, in the early part of 1976, he realized something intense. He gave an insight into that when he recalled his thoughts at the time and said, “something had been gnawing at me for a while, and I finally had to admit to myself that helping other musicians do well was also part of my own growth as a composer.”