A dear friend of mine greets almost everyone with this question. In the midst of January, I find that it is a very important question indeed…here are some things that I’m finding very good, indeed.
The “100 days challenge”
Although I’m only 10 days into this, I’m really surprised at how enlightening doing this project has been. I’ve received lots of feedback; all very supportive, but often with the subtext of “why are you doing this to yourself? (or doing this to us?)”. I have a couple of reasons. Firstly I’m doing it for some of my students. I have a couple that are very curious about what I practice, so I thought that this would be a good way to show them. Secondly, there is an accountability aspect to it that is really helping me. Thirdly, the Heisenberg Principle is a real thing and I find that observing my practicing in this way is changing the way I do it. I’m learning that I don’t spend enough time on any one thing before I move to something else. A daily review of my recordings really drive that home. I’m learning to be more mindful and to really sit with something longer. Finally, there is a therapeutic aspect to this…it is making me put something out into the world everyday…essentially showing my work, warts and all. This is proving to be very good for me. Again I’m just getting started, so we’ll see how this project evolves. If you’re curious, you can follow my Instagram page to see the dailies…
Some great music
There has been no shortage of great music in Chicago this month. Highlights have included Jerry Bergonzi (!) passing through at the Green Mill. He is as inspiring as ever! I was introduced to a new group called “Real Feels” a couple weeks ago at Constellation. They’re a trio of flugelhorn, guitar, and drums with some effects and pedals. Heart-achingly beautiful colors and textures and a deep melodic sense. Some of my friends are doing some great work as well – fellow saxophonist Mitch Paliga‘s sextet project knocks me over every time I hear it and just night before last I heard a quartet project led by trombonist Chris Shuttleworth that was very forward-thinking.
I’ve been doing a lot of writing for trio in anticipation of my next recording. Next Wednesday (1/30) we’ll be playing at The Montrose Saloon and starting to work out some new material. In February I’ll be playing at The Serbian Village with Tommy Muellner’s group. Then things really start ramping up in March. Check out the website for more info…
See you in a couple weeks….