Sunday, February 18, 2007

Looking back at the entry for Feb. 3, I am reminded about the remainder of that evening. We had a set at 9:30pm, and another one at 11:30pm. The earlier set was in the big hall, with the nice grand piano (all the others were not so nice, but they were pianos). At one point in that set, Joe Midiri announced that he and I were going to play a duo version of "Stardust". That's fine, conceptually, however I knew that he was playing this in reference to a cut on their latest CD, where he plays the tune as a duet with his guitarist; Pat Mercuri (who wasn't on this trip). I did it once before with Joe, and he presented me with Pat's lead sheet. That was helpful, because Pat (and almost everyone else) plays this tune with different changes that I do (it's that "solo piano bubble" thing), and I'm just not good at keeping straight (in my head) how other people do things ("Tenderly" is another one, where I prefer my changes, and can never keep straight how most everyone else plays it). So, when I discovered that we didn't have Pat's lead sheet, I panicked. I don't usually play this in D flat (though I probably should), but I can get by with that. The real issue, to me, was that I know that Joe likes to hear the changes he wants, and I was going to have a hard time trying to go where I wasn't sure. This was all happening quickly, so, while in the tune, I waved off him sharing the first (Db) chorus with me, since I was feeling insecure, determining to wait for the next go around in F. I don't like to curve ball people on stage, but I did, and he just kept playing (and I kept accompanying). All this was adding to my own sense of being pseudo-overwhelmed on the edge while we were playing. The point of recounting all of this is to note that all of that "nervous creativity", rather than pulling me away from the "spiritual" place of music making (where I must escape any inward focus) apparently drove me deeper into it. I say that primarily because of the response of all the other guys to me (and my solo) as they came back on stage. Paul Midiri later told me that, as the four of them were sitting at the table listening, at one point, and all together, they "gasped". Hmmm. It seems weird to write this, and again I do so to document my own discoveries, and attempts at growth. Just goes to show, perhaps, in general terms, that God is always there, and accessible, no matter what. A few days ago, I was riding in the car with my 10 year old son; Robbie. He initiated a discussion about the wind, and after a few minutes he said: "You can't see the wind. you can always see the wind". Amen, Robbie. And so it is with God.

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