Thursday, March 22, 2007

Something interesting happened tonight, and not completely unexpected. I've decided to push a little harder, and take every concert opportunity like it's the concert of my life (not that I don't take performing seriously, or with intensity, but doing the volume of gigs that I do can turn the focus sometimes into something more like "plowing") , even if it's in a small town (though quite upscale) retirement community: Heron Point in Chestertown. I tested the waters with some stuff tonight, and was very well received. Usually, in senior communities I have put a particular emphasis on some of the entertainment elements, in addition to the playing. I think this was (initially) partially borne out of some insecurity. This time I tried a new "treatment" for illustrating jazz improv.; demonstrating "freedom" and "structure" (and, of course, I understand that these elements are never disconnected in real performance, but I think the illustration still works). I included, for the first time (together) a classical piece, followed by a "no-agenda" improv (especially with specialized, or specific audiences, it's hard for me to drop the agendas). It's hard for me to stay focused on even a very easy classical piece (Moonlight Sonata, first mvt.), and I certainly can't memorize, because I'm such a conceptualist (I would very quickly slide into expressing the essence, and lose some of the specifics), which means, no matter how well I may know whatever it is, I have to read. Everything was connecting with the audience tonight (this new "spiritual" performing freedom will take me far, I increasingly believe), but the best received selection was; you guessed it: the classical piece. I've never performed any of the classical stuff as part of who I am, but have had a nagging sense that I am in an artistic position to make a go of it now (this nagging started years ago, and is independent of my "discovery" of Kieth Jarrett).. It will take a lot of work because I am a poor reader (relative to where everything else is). Hmmmm. Time, and (God-inspired) patience will tell. It's all good.

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