I’ve often felt like a late bloomer because I didn’t come to jazz until I was 17 years old. You’d think that for someone playing the saxophone in school band that this would’ve been a given, but it wasn’t for me. I came to develop an interest in jazz my senior year of high school when my classical voice teacher leant me Ella Fitzgerald’s “Best of the Songbooks” as something to take my mind off being frustrated with my changing voice.
While I had studied voice and piano for years, in the beginning of my journey of becoming a jazz musician, I failed to understand how my years of classical lessons and “competitive” choral singing were going to benefit my new love and focus. A few years ago though, I made a recording on my phone of some things I was working on, playing and singing as was my usual way of doing things at the time: played an intro, comped and sang a head with lyrics, took a vocal solo with comping, took a piano solo, took the head out, made a lousy little ending. I made a variety of recordings like this, original tunes and standards of various styles and tempos. While I had managed, begrudgingly, to teach myself to listen objectively to myself as a tool for growth, I was so unhappy with what I heard back. There was no connection between my singing and piano playing. If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought it was two different people….who didn’t know each other….who …
It’s been 100 days of lockdown for us here in NYC. You might wonder what your unemployed musician friends have been doing in those 100 days. Allow me to paint you a picture:
7am: wake up (7am!?!), stare at ceiling
8:30am: coffee and breakfast
9am: stare at the wall, slowly drinking coffee. Check facebook 35 times.
9:30am: sit down at instrument
10am: shitpost on internet, make way to couch
11am: wake up from impromptu nap, return to instrument
11:15am: deem life pointless
11:30am: more coffee, this time with whiskey added. Message with friends about how life is pointless. …