October 6, 2010

D. Scott Morris: The Passing of a Writer, a Teacher, and One Kick-Ass Musician

(Reposted from Colorado Music Buzz, October issue)

If you are a musician, you hope to gain the recognition of at least a few fans. It is the rare artist, however, that can inspire the appreciation of not just his many fans, but also of an entire musical community.

Guitarist D. Scott Morris formed the Alternative/Funk band, Ultrachronic, in 2004. While the band had its share of complications, Ultrachronic began to garner attention in the local scene. During this time, however, D. Scott was informed of an inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor residing in his chest, “the size of a cantaloupe,” he said in a blog post. It was removed successfully, despite such complications as a vocal cord being severed. Yet he kept on truckin’, performing shows, recording tracks despite the cancer his body battled.

In 2007, the members of Ultrachronic disbanded, with D. Scott, Kyle Ingram (vocals), and Dave Crotser (bass) moving on to a new project. Along with members of the recently defunct band, Boondok Saints – Matt Fink (drums) and Wayne Alden (guitar, vocals) – they formed The Flash Mob. This new band’s sounds contained facets of both Ultrachronic and Boondok Saints: a bit of Hip-Hop, a bit of Reggae, a bit of Funk, and a whole lot of Rock.

The Flash Mob has since become a focal point for Denver’s attentions, resulting in this year’s Westword Music Showcase award for Best Funk Band – an honor that the band members dedicated to their ailing-but-hardworking guitarist.

Just months later on September 11th, D. Scott Morris passed away. His bandmate, Dave, wrote on The Flash Mob’s website, “D. Scott put his heart and soul into the music he created. His guitar tone, haunting melodies, and face-melting guitar solos were always just as he wanted – he was a creative perfectionist, and had the unique ability to find just the right part, just the right riff, just the right tone, just the right arrangement. He had the ability to envision a song as a whole, more than the sum of its parts. These are rare talents indeed, as any musician will tell you.”

D. Scott used his knowledge and writing skills to teach others about the music industry through his honest-yet-supportive column, The D-List, featured each month in Colorado Music Buzz. On the side, he worked with Brice Hancock, as administrator for the Denver Music Board, a definitive forum for any local musician. By working with and for other bands, he helped to establish a strong sense of community, of helping one another out for the greater good. As Buzz writer Christian Blochinger once wrote of D. Scott, he was “a truly unique and genuine human being wrapped in a kick-ass guitarist.” Because of his efforts and hard work, the Denver music scene has benefited and will continue to do so in the years to come.

1 comment:

misskortney said...

Thanks for writing such a great article...