1st week at SJW

Wow! What a great week! I have had the amazing opportunity to hear Yosvani Terry and his quintet, Carlos Del Puerto, Terrance Blanchard' e-collective, and many more. Today we got some new faculty so watch out for Ambrose and Allison Miller...

Hearing these groups has impressed upon me how much I don't know about Cuban music, and how much I would like to know more.

Hearing Terrance Blanchard's group inspired some comparisons for me to other acoustic artists who have "gone electric." When I think of other musicians like Miles Davis or Ornette Coleman who I greatly admire I find myself thinking that their electric music doesn't grab me in the same way that their acoustic music does. Not that it's bad but something seems fundamentally different about it.  I'm still mulling it over but in all three cases it seems that the allure of the new sonic landscape and the technical barriers to entry for actually playing with electronics means that sometimes melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic complexity is sacrificed for sound. To an extent this is good because it allows the timbres to shine through but often it means that the features that made an artist captivating in the first place are diminished in favor of a new craft that they have not explored as deeply as what they were doing before. Nevertheless the music has a large audience because of their status as an acoustic musician. Not sure that's all fair or even right but it's what I'm thinking now. 

I was sick for a few days this week so I had to take some time off the horn. It gave me a little time to reconsider practicing. I've been a little obsessed with feel. good phrasing and a good feel gives me license to play things that would otherwise sound cliche. Or maybe having a good feel is so hard that I am reverting back to those internalized cliches and they are having more of an impact because I'm grooving harder than I used to...