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Music Memory - Hawksley Workman

Music Memory is sponsored by the Alzheimer Society of Toronto, offering the "Music For Memory Project": a program based on the effects of music and stimulation on people with dementia, by providing them with iPods containing personalized music. For more information, visit

This week we hear from Hawksley Workman, a prolific Canadian rock singer-songwriter He’s released eleven full-length albums - the latest is called Old Cheetah.  He is a multi-instrumentalist, and vocal artist.

"In grade 10, I was disillusioned with pop music. I was supposed to be swept up by the grunge craze, but that flew in the face of my hunger for great drummers on the vanguard. Dave Weckl became a religion. For a couple of years I followed him and this new breed of drummers in the mid to late eighties, influenced by Gadd, who were making a mark in fusion jazz with the greats who were testing these new 'rock meets jazz' waters like Chick Corea and John Scofield.

Weckl led me to Chick Corea. The first Chick Corea and The Electric Band record, produced one of Chick's classics called, Got a Match?

In my mind, it's an aspirational standard.

Got a Match? is, to me, is a classic pop recording, capturing a true moment. It's a gutsy try at something new, and it was the work of a collection of young high achievers shepherded by a master.  There's a kitchy, post modernness to the recording but incredibly without the self consciousness that would have been expected from a popular pop or 'rock' band.

Jazz thinkers might look back on this fusion era as a misstep, but I think there was an underlying richness in reckless discovery in an idiom obsessed with reverence."

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