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Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Monday, August 2, 2010

A personal post

Hi folks...that is if any of you are still around despite my lack of posts in the past few months. I guess the good thing about reading blogs is that there are so many out there. It seems that there are always good posts from someone, somewhere to read...about something. One of my own personal favorites is Peter Hum's great blog of opinions and reviews (please see my blog role). And of course Ethan Iverson's seminal and mind blowing blog "Do the Math". Honestly I think if there is anything that could potentially influence the contemporary jazz community in terms of insight into the lineage of the music from incredible interviews and discussions on philosophy and aesthetics it could very well be this blog. I'm not a big fan of the Bad Plus and I'm even shocked by the depth of influence from the past that Ethan claims to have. I must say from what I've heard I don't hear the influence on his playing from James P. Johnson's "Carolina Shout" which he states is mandatory for all jazz pianists to study. He makes some really funny statements about music (he loves "Chariots of Fire" and refuses to concede that he's making an attempt at humor by performing it with his trio) but his interviews really unlock true insight into music, improvised music, and the musicians who make jazz.

This isn't supposed to be a review of anyone's blog. I'm mostly just reaching out and hoping there may still be some hanger's-on to my humble blog. So what have I been up to? I've moved to a new home this month. 2 days later my wife and I embarked on a family mission to Korea (where she's from) to reconnect with her biological mother's family, sadly, on the occasion of her death. This was a really intense trip for us and one that has left us changed people. It was a trip that I think detailed to me, in ways that I have never really thought about before, the unfortunate potential for waste in one's life. It made me realize how quickly time won't wait for you to get your shit together and figure out what is really important. I've sat on a Canada Council jury for the first time (can't say which one yet) and that has really been inspiring for me to hear what the great musicians have been up to. Since I'm not on Facebook I suppose that I have to get on a Canada Council jury to get reconnected to the musicians around our country (I don't know...does that even happen on Facebook?) I'm really kicked in the behind to get back to my work at the piano and with my own writing as a result of this experience. I'm also a hell of a lot savvier about the process of getting grants through our grant system here in Canada. I must say that I have been pretty lucky thus far so I've never had any complaints about the Canada Council or the way in which we've distributed public funding for individual artists. I've received several grants for my own writing projects, for living in New York and taking some great lessons with Kenny Werner, for recording my record 3 years ago (I hate it now, haha), and especially for my touring opportunities as a leader. I've always been of the mind that this system seems to work out for everyone in the long run and it makes me really celebrate our country and it's attitude towards the arts, even if that attitude has evolved over the years. I think if any Canadian independent jazz musician wants to feel good about their career they should just talk to some of their counterparts south of the border.

This isn't supposed to be a review of the state of arts funding in Canada either. Anyway I'd just like to say that I haven't given up blogging just yet and that I've already been planning some juicy posts which will include more of a focus on jazz piano for the upcoming year. Also I've discontinued the comments to non-subscribers. It's not that I want to limit anyone's comments but I've just been getting too much spam in the form of commenters recently. I must say though I'm really impressed by the tenacity of the sex industry in Tawain. Ni-How and have a great day!

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