NOAHJAZZ - NB PONTIFICATES

MY REFLECTIONS ON MUSIC, LIFE, FOOD AND WHO KNOWS WHAT ELSE . . .

Month: November, 2014

When “Thank You” Trumps “I’m Sorry”

Since it’s Thanksgiving today, it seems like good timing to address a subtle yet surprisingly powerful shift that I’ve learned to make in the realm of gratitude.

Top 10 Favorite Jimmy Greene Tracks

November 25 marks the release of A Beautiful Life, a musically brilliant and emotionally potent new album by Jimmy Greene in tribute to his murdered daughter, Ana Grace. I could write a long essay about Jimmy the human being – we’ve been friends over half our lives by now – his humility, his strength, his faith and his caring responsibility. But that’s not what this is. Instead, I wanted to whet your appetites with some personal highlights from the catalog of Jimmy the musician. Though he is my friend and a major formative figure in my own development as a young musician, I have also been a fan of his music since I first heard his soulful, mature playing when he was 16. It has of course only gotten better. As a saxophonist and composer he has developed a distinct and important voice.

The Trap of Unmet Expectations

Specificity of expectations is the biggest obstacle facing so many musicians (and, for that matter, every other human being). It’s easy to get into the trap of evaluating the value or satisfaction of something based on these expectations. It’s hard enough to objectively ask ourselves “where am I?” Hard becomes virtually impossible, though, when our own sincere thoughts are being drowned out by a sea of other questions: “Where should I be?” “Where are the people I envy?” “Where do others think I am?” “Where did I expect I would be by this point when I was younger?”