I formed a spiritual connection with Michel Colombier in the early seventies with an album he did entitled "Wings" for Herb Alpert and A&M records. I guess you could say that it gave voice to all my aspirations. You see, I was an imposter among classical musicians, among jazz musicians, even among artists because I didn't really care about art. I just loved to improvise. Having no awareness of what goes with what, I freely associated and grabbed the next idea that moved me. I didn't know until much later, and it is still being revealed to me today, that this could be a positive.

I bristle at the term jazz concert, or classical concert, or for that matter Ska or Hip Hop. There is no jazz, classical, ska or hip hop, there is only people... People who feel, people who lust, people who yearn... Notes, harmony, rhythm, melody... just tools for people... to express that longing... I know when I hear it, it resonates in me instantly and it can reside in any "type" of music. It is the human soul fluttering, generating a charge that vibrates through one's body, sweeping through the emotional filters and causing the listener to cry or laugh.

Once in a while there are those who make music from this lofty height. No matter what they do, no matter what the assignment may be, they take the opportunity to indulge in the nectar of sound and make us vibrate. This is the kind of musician Michel Colombier is.

He gave validation to my dreams, hopes and desires the day I put that record on. It moves seamlessly through styles, often going trumping the original style with something better. You could say that he showed the tremendous skill endemic of people of his craft, but he moved through music's physical universe in highly emotional, often transcendental vibrations, giving more significance to every kind of music.

"Wings" rides over rooftops like Santa Claus on Christmas eve. For some of us, there is not another way to do it. I longed not to be trapped in one style of music or another, but to access, spontaneously in my case (as an improviser) the entire world and it's offerings in order to keep the passion going. That's all that matters, the passion, the propulsion, the wind in our sails. Michel's music and life propel us to feel and to extend ourselves.

And thank you Michel for revealing your fantasy to us.

Kenny Werner
jazz pianist, composer, teacher,
author of the book 'Effortless Mastery'

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