“As a kid, I couldn’t afford to buy albums. We had a place in Altoona, Pennsylvania, where I grew up called the Book and Record Store, where you could go into a listening room and listen to any album that they had there. So I used to go in and listen for hours, but I couldn’t afford to buy anything.
It might have been a Stan Kenton album. I had a dog-earred old box set by Stan Kenton that I remember very vividly, but I don’t know how I ever got it. It was probably either Stan Kenton or Ted Heath’s Big Band from England.
As a much younger kid, I heard Glenn Miller’s recordings and lots of different dance bands. But by the time I got into junior high, it was the more adventurous bands that really were thrilling me.
When I was in seventh grade, my girlfriend sat me down to listen to Maynard Ferguson playing ‘The Hot Canary’ with Stan Kenton. She told me, ‘You should be listening to this stuff, not those sweet bands.’ So I have to credit her with putting me on the right path.”
In support of his recently released album, “Earth Music,” saxophonist Paul Winter leads the Paul Winter Consort in concert at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington at 8pm on Saturday (February 4). Tix are $35 and $55.