Well, well, well. I had these two gigs here recently and they were a lot of fun. I was supporting my really good friend Chris Taylor. Chris is an awesome guy. He can write a simple, yet powerful song. I like playing side-man to him because his stuff is so open. I can pretty much just let it rip and he gives plenty of space to do that. He's generous with his playing and and doesn't mind if you take a lead in a spot. It's like jazz that way. He doesn't rehearse, he just slips a chart in front of you and then, hang on! We did this one set at BRCC. The stage out there is really cool because the auditorium seats about 1000 or so but it's situated and built so that it's pretty intimate, they had candles on the stage and nice lighting. We played for about 300 people, probably. I can remember a time when I was very intimidated to play in front of 20! Now, though, it's not too bad. Oh, I still get the pre-jitters and all that. But it's not haltingly gripping. Funny, once that first downbeat hits it all... just fizzles away. The best part of music is when you quit thinking about what you're doing and just BE with the flow. It's that high that I used to chase so furiously in my life. It's becoming one with something that's fluid and pleasing. So, as I was sitting there playing these tunes, I thought about that. I wasn't so much thinking about what I was doing, per se - but it was there, yes. I was just thinking about how cool it is to be playing for people, having the experience of them enjoying our music and feeding off of that energy. I wish I could explain it more for those of you who don't get to play.... It's like when you're sitting at your desk and plugging away and not really thinking about what you're actually doing, but doing it anyway. Not like mindlessly working by rote, more like flowing with the project. And every now and then when you look up, people are smiling and applauding and you're just like, "What? I just typed 'the' and 'if', and that makes you happy?" Or it's like when you're running, and there's this hill, and you're thinking about getting to the top of that hill and your lungs are burning and your sweating and your heart is about to blow a hole in your chest, then suddenly you crest that hill and you look around and people are happy that you made them feel good. I don't know. It's something like that. The CD is coming along. It's being replicated as we speak. We kinda ran into some art-work issues that are being worked out by my very good pal, Robert Vogel. They're stamping the CD's and printing on them. So that part is progressing. I'd SO wanted to have it out in time for the Christmas holiday season and try to capitolize on people being more liberal with their money, but plans and schemes are only plans and schemes. It'll all work out for the better, just you wait and see. And when it finally arrives all packaged and shiny, it'll be the sweeter. Right now I'm studying substitutions, and transcribing loads of music. Since I started teaching at Delview some of those students are asking for transcriptions of stuff I never thought I'd play - either out of choice or because I thought it was too hard for me. But, being the "teacher", that sort of implies some (false) sense of "mastery" - that is, they think I can actually play. It's like that, though. It's like people expect that you know how to do things, and not just know - but be able to play them, too. I keep waiting for the shoe to drop and everyone will look at me and know that I've just been pretending all this time. I think of other professions - I wonder if it's like that, too. Say you go to the doctor, you're fully expecting that he's going to know what that lime-green orangey thing growning on the back of your knee is, and how to get rid of it, but really he/she is actually just as stumped as you are - and is probably thinking, "What the heck is that?? I've never seen that in any of my medical books, is there even a PILL for that thing? Oh, my gosh! How'd you get that thing? How can I get out of here? Gloves! Where are the gloves? NURSE, get out the hypodermic!" Anyway... chord substitutions. I've been studying this type of jazz thing where you replace chords for other ones and still make it sound right. That's pretty much stretching my musical intellect (oxymoron) because it involves SO much thinking and planning ahead. It's like you're playing along and then you have to put this little "carrot insertion" mark in your flow and plug in chords that are foreign to the key you're actually in... then all these sharps and flats start flying around in my head and I'm working out which one is the "ii7" and which one is the "dom7-9" and blam!, you're there. But it just sounds so sweet, dude! If you do it right, it's like you're sitting on the wings of angels, if you do it wrong it's like raking your fingernails across the blackboard!

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