Monthly Archives: March 2010
Have you seen “Being There”… the movie with Peter Sellers?
I liken myself to Peter a bit. He says “I am Chance, the gardner” Which turns into Chance E. Gardner. He gets elected president of the U.S. His simple sayings, like “The flowers bloom mostly in the springtime” get interpreted as profound political statements. He doesn’t quite know what to make of it all. I would like to embrace the concept of a simple life, yet I am sometimes a complex person.
Yay! My new recording of “Over The Rainbow” was played for the first time on KHUM radio in Ferndale. Thanks to KHUM for this honor. This could have been heard by thousands of people. This is just the beginning!
Another new record! One hundred eighty five people viewed my site yesterday… Thanks to all of you for your support! Today is looking good as well. I am very encouraged. To any of you who are active on social network sites, facebook, twitter, etc., it would be great if you could send out word of my site to others. One person can lead to 10,000 in a very short time. There are many things you can do… write to your local paper, talent management agency, to your local college music department, etc. The musicians who I want to play with are all excited to get the show on the road. I would like to shoot for a global tour beginning next fall. I know a lot of people are concerned about the economy… I say Poppy Cock! In the great depression, two things flourished… alcohol, and music. People wanted to get a buzz, and be entertained. This planet has always supported stellar talent. I can’t count how many times I’ve spent my last dollars on a concert. If I start to make a lot of money, I will start a foundation to help promote fantastic artists. I will help school music programs, and work to nurture creativity in many ways. Working together, we can make a miracle happen.
I have this fantasy, about what my perfect day would be like…
Starting with my morning coffee, reviewing emails about an upcoming tour…
Then meetings with the crew, talking about developments, brainstorming about creative ideas, visualizing great things, and working to figure out how they could happen. Some things take time, some a team effort, some things take money. So, making a plan, and getting the process rolling. Then, I’d like about a two hour “Health Break”. This would include some form of exercise, massage, accupuncture, etc., wheat grass shots, a sauna and jacuzzi… that sort of thing. After this, practice time, and recording, and, hopefully, a gig at night. About six days a week, and one day just to do whatever.
Yesterday, 154 people visited my site, up from the previous record of 137. Something is happening.
When the review of “Shadows” comes out on Wednesday, that should get things going as well.
Now, if I just knew who these people were…
I used to teach a lot, privately, and in group lessons. I really enjoy teaching, young and old, all levels, as long as my students practice! So, if you have a hankering for learning to play the flute, give me a jingle. It only took me 35 years to play as well as I do, but perhaps you will learn much quicker.
For several years in a row, I used to spend New Year’s Eve in San Francisco. One year, at a jazz club called Keystone Korner, the late, great “professor” Art Blakey was playing with an “All Star” reunion of the Jazz Messengers. During a break, I talked to trombone virtuoso Curtis Fuller. I told him that we had analyzed his recording of John Coltrane’s “Moment’s Notice”, in Gary Peacock’s jazz theory class at Cornish. Suddenly, his head dropped. I said… “What’s wrong, Curtis?” To which he replied “That was a very bad day in Rudy Van Gelder’s living room!” Curtis went on to explain… “We were recording tunes, and then John sprung “Moment’s Notice” on us. We had no time to look at it, practice it, nothing. It was just… here we go! He said that John practiced it at home for months, and had an unfair advantage. “Moment’s Notice” is a very difficult jazz tune. Way too many chord changes for the budding jazz player. It’s kind of like a prankster, a joker, a trickster… the chord changes “point” to a certain key, or tonality, and then doesn’t actually go there… just when you thought that you could jam in E flat minor… it’s off to a whole new, almost, key center. In Gary’s class, he pointed out how Coltrane played flawlessly through all the chord changes, but that Curtis was mostly playing in one key, which didn’t work all the time. Even the greatest talent can get stumped sometimes!
One of the rites of passage for a flute player, is the mastering of vibrato. How to do it, when to use it, the speed and width of it, all that kind of stuff. “Stuff”… now that’s not a very classical term, is it? Well, it’s a perfectly fine jazz term, I say. My earliest vibrato I had no control of… it was because I was performing for my teachers, and I was nervous! My lips were quivering! My teacher, Phyllis, tried her best to show me how to do it, to no avail. Then, I went to a masterclass with Julius Baker in eastern Washington, for a week. Mr. Baker was, for many years, the first flutist in the New York Philharmonic. ( He has since passed away ) Eight hours a day, masterclasses were held. Wonderful flutists from all over, would play, and be critiqued by Mr. Baker. One young 16 year old woman played, I don’t remember what piece, and Mr. Baker, looked in awe, as she soared to the heavens. After she played, he commented that the piece simply could not be played any better. I wish I knew her name. Someday, you may see the group photo on my site. There were at least a hundred of us. Anyway, back to the subject of vibrato… though I really didn’t play much while at the masterclass, when I returned to Seattle, and played for the first time, I had complete control of vibrato. I had gotten it by osmosis, by immersion, by a simple twist of fate.
So, yes, money would be very good to make some things happen.
Recording a new, full band CD, underwriting a tour, starting a line of merchandise… all that kind of stuff. My flute is worth a LOT of money, and I would be willing to put it up as collateral, to someone who could help finance the evolution of my endeavors. You could get a return on your investment, and take pride in helping to make something really cool happen. Just have your people talk to my people!
In Paris, there is a jazz club called “New Morning”. It is one of the best clubs in Europe. I used to live 2 blocks from it. My metro stop was right in the middle. Let’s see, do I go home and stare at the Eiffel Tower, or do I go hear world class jazz? I befriended an employee there, and he got me in for free all the time. I used to go five nights in a row. Every great jazz band that played Europe, played at the New Morning. It was wild!