Wednesday, 25 January 2012

tracking the tracks

I've finally got to sit down and start listening to my tracks. The first day of recording yielded some promising results. I've been listening carefully to the tracks of the 2nd day and in spite of Hector, D.O.'s dog/guy, I seemed at times to be wandering off into little harmonic cubby holes that sometimes appear relevant but often are a little annoying excursions into the dreamland of wanderings getting away from the matter at hand. They seem to be not as much fun in places.. Other times I'm wondering what I did there because it sounds even miraculous. I guess I'll just keep going and learn some of the tunes better and try to get inside them. It takes quite a while for me to really deeply know a song.

"Minimally" was the word Bill Evans used when he was asked about practising—that is working extensively on just a few ideas (and knowing it to be right under any playing conditions). My friend L.V. says that Bill has practised all day for weeks and months earlier on in his life.

So I'd like to try that a little bit too.... I have been playing these tunes for the best part of a life- time and still find ways to paint myself into a corner. Of course playing in up tempos was and is a challenge but with a little work at that I seemed to be able to play up without getting a stiff neck. "1/2 TIME THEY TELL ME." So that reminds me of the time I was in NYC (1983) and listening to the great Johnny Griffin tearing it up in this club with a very young Mulgrew Miller (who "played" —like he demolished the piano, very very awesome). Well, speaking of half time feel in a 4/4 up up UP tempo: I couldn't even tap my foot to it, it was so fast—I tried tapping my foot in half time meanwhile I was checking this fabulous bass player with the group and caught his eye: he noticed that I was tapping in 1/2 time and he looked at me without contempt but gave me a nod in the Negative direction (Not up and down) which told me that 1/2 time is not the way to go—I've never forgotten that. So the secret to playing fast up up 4 is not 1/2 time per say, but to somehow relax and feel (practise, listen, keep track of changes and form) the fast 4 in not such a square way (as I had been doing).... It's a challenge even to find players that want to play fast because to get good at it you have to go for it often.

These tracks I've just done are kind of the opposite of all that. My time is good (stretched here and there) but the impulse is more like a bar-long wave or more. Gotta watch those cubby holes.

Random news:
We went to Hugo.... very nice..

EKOS choir has a wonderful ambitious show coming up in May and I know I'm going to be attentive and hard working just to keep up with P. the director: lots of plans—it's going to be fun and entertaining.

Slowly reading Chris Hedges: He's got the take on our times !!

Reading Autobiography of a Yogi.... There's nothing like it out there. I've read it several times but now concentrate on the intake and study and living with the principles and revelations found there.

I'm going to practise—and remind myself what a great thing it is to be able to play even if tribulations do arise — it's the one thing that keeps going forward in some particular way.

Cheers, Everyone.

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