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 sleeve 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 moneymaker, 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 friend on keyboards. 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 Carleton and the St. Regis He was also asked to appear at two major Southland venues, The Coach House and Galaxy Theater.
With encouragement from audiences and other players, Norm finally went into the studio with pianist Ron Kobayashi and a number of other fine Southern California players. The tunes are all original. Several are by Ron Kobayashi. 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 arranging. Finishing touches came from Steve Wood, a composer whose most recent credits include the award winning soundtrack to the IMAX film, Everest. Steve developed a very melodic and accessible style as music director and keyboard player for Kenny Loggins and this is very evident on Norm's first solo project, THE FIRST TIME. For all concerned, it was a labor of love and it shows in every cut.
Today, Norm still teaches. His new CD as well as subsequent collaborations mark the culmination of a trip that actually began nearly thirty years ago... yet, every time he goes onstage, it feels like the FIRST TIME.