|Decades:||1980s 1990s 2000s|
17 June 1957, New Jersey, USA. Unusually for a musician intent on a career in jazz, Varners chosen instrument is the French horn. His studies included a spell with Julius Watkins and he also attended the New England Conservatory where he obtained a degree and where his tutors included Ran Blake, George Russell and Jaki Byard. During this period Varner was also developing his skills as a composer and arranger. While in the Boston area, he formed a band with saxophonist Ed Jackson, a musical relationship which was to continue long afterwards. Varners music draws from a wide range of influences, not only in jazz but also in contemporary classical music. From Alban Berg to the blues, from Anton Webern to Ornette Coleman, he achieves an eclectic mix of pan-tonal melodicism and raw funk. The result is a rich and exhilarating form that excites viscerally while simultaneously demanding intellectual understanding.
In 1979, Varner settled...