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It's all about the music
Author: TriSec    Date: 01/25/2008 19:47:50

Most of you know that I'm a trumpeter. I'm just a hack; I've been playing for about 6 years now, and at long last some of the things I've been doing are finally starting to gain some traction. Charlie Parker may have been right; he studied the chord changes to "I Got Rhythm" in all keys for a number of years. Many of his originals are based on that chord progression. There is something natural to it, while I was practicing last night, I noticed that I didn't get lost in the chart, it's very easy to follow along. Then there's the II-V motion through the A section...it's all related so multiple scales work over it for soloing.

Last year, I also quit studying and practicing my scales according to the cycle of fifths; I started moving through a modal series instead, and was surprised to learn that they flowed much easier and I picked up tunes a little quicker when I worked this way. Soloing is easier too...so there must be something to that. But then again, I started playing because of one musician, one album, one song. "Freddie Freeloader, from Miles' "Kind of Blue". I can listen to that over and over and I always hear something new...and that high Eb that Miles hits in the 6th chorus sends chills down my spine every time. KofB is one of those albums that on my mythical "5 albums you'd take to a desert island", but that's a blog for another day.

Of course, I also have family history, too. My father was on the faculty at Berklee College of Music here in Boston for 40 years...the number of people and musicians that I knew as a kid as a matter of course is astonishing....and we recently mourned the passing of Herb Pomeroy, one of the founding faculty members of Berklee and someone I have known since I was 8 years old....he played with Bird, you know. My Grandpa was a trumpeter too...(whose horn I inherited and now play...) but he goes back even further to the big band era. Gramps worked with Vaughn Monroe, The Four Lads, Hildegarde, Ella....and Satchmo himself. I have not one, but two personally autographed pictures that Gramps got the summer I was born...they're among my most prized possesions.

"Yeah, great TriSec. Why are you telling us this?" I can hear you asking...



Well, let me tell you. Back in 1984, I was a senior in High School, and this little movie came out about some crazy musician from Minnesota. We saw that move at least a dozen times that summer, and one hot summer's night we all hatched a crazy idea that we should form a band and make something out of it. We called it "the dream" realizing that it probably was never going to happen. Things change, my friends drifted away, and the dream went out of my life too. But the music stayed. Like a curious child, I would listen to anything, anytime, anywhere...something I still do to this day. Music became that center of my life, such that one of my personal saying is "Jazz and Aviation are two things that will never betray me". I couldn't go a day without listening to some kind of music, and I had certain rituals that I maintained for years, not the least of which was listening to Kind of Blue every Sunday night.

Then came 9-11.

I can't put a finger on it, but in the wake of that incredible day....I stopped listening to music. Cold turkey. No jazz, no funk, no Prince, no Mozart...nothing. For years, I went through an endless cycle of BBC, CNN, AIr America Radio...anything and everything that was news, commentary, current events, you name it. In my discussions with others on the internets, I discovered that quite a few people had done the same thing. It almost felt like music was a frivolity and who were we to enjoy it when there were weightier matters going on in the world?

For new year's this year, I made a point to get back to my beloved music. I've got new pressures at work, and home, and with the economy heading south, my vast library of music is looking like cheap entertainment to me. I own an iPod, but last week, I pulled out my old CD player and even went digging for a 90s vintage cassette walkman so I could listen to my old tapes again. (Yet another casualty of technology...I refuse to give up my turntable, but I haven't had a tape deck hooked up in years.) It's been astonishing. I've re-discovered the likes of Chick Corea, Gamalon, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and a whole host of other bands that I haven't listened to in nearly two decades. It's like re-discovering an old friend.

So that's it...I can't really say what prompted this outpouring from my humble pen. But I'd urge everyone that even in these times, in this place, with the world seemingly crashing down around us...don't neglect the things you love. We come here and fight and complain and pontificate every day, but even the hardest among us must need time to recharge? It's almost Super Tuesday, and in 10 months, we'll be fighting the fight of our lives, perhaps even that cataclysmic battle that will determine once and for all if this grand experiment called "America" can long endure...remember that even in the darkest hours, we must find that anchor, that happy place, that one thing that evil and fascism and hate can never take away from us.

Aviation is dead to me....but I will always have my music.

57 comments (Latest Comment: 01/26/2008 14:35:23 by BobR)
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Comment by Mondobubba on 01/25/2008 20:11:50
Nice, Tri. Nice indeedy Sir. I've started reading So What it is a biography of Miles Dewy Davis III. There are some asides about Bird coming to Miles' apartment in when Davis and his girlfriend and baby momma first were living in New York. Miles was still going to Juliard at the time. Aparently Parker would go to the crib and mooch off Miles & Cheryl because she was a good cook and Bird for all his gifts with music was a total trainwreck of person. He would show up for dinner with hooker and her pimp and the occasional drug dealer. :RMS: Nice! Cheryl finally had to lay down the law on Bird and his mooching ways.

Comment by Raine on 01/25/2008 20:16:44
:hug: Amen Tri. It is wonderful to see that 9-11 while it changed everything, can be put to good use.





Comment by Raine on 01/25/2008 20:19:57
You know Tri, I can't believe I did not make the connection before, but when I went to Parsons school of Design, Berklee College of Music was incorporated into our program.

Comment by TriSec on 01/25/2008 20:37:24
Ah, I just finished reading "Bird Lives".



Now there's a hard life if there ever was one. And the hell of it is, so many musicians of that era felt it necessary to emulate him (Miles included...) As it was mentioned in the book, all of the cool people thought that in order to play like Bird, you had to do like Bird, often with the same tragic results.



Given that his recording, contracts, and legal life was a total trainwreck, it's a wonder any of his genius was recorded at all...





Comment by velveeta jones on 01/25/2008 21:24:03
Todays cheese selection is:



Le Chevre Noir - from Quebec.



Yummy.

Comment by livingonli on 01/25/2008 21:29:42
Quote by velveeta jones: Todays cheese selection is:



Le Chevre Noir - from Quebec.



Yummy.


Vive Le Quebec!



Ah, Montreal, good times.

Comment by m-hadley on 01/25/2008 21:32:19
Gosh TriSec,

I don't even know you (I'm new around here), but that is some beautiful writing. It brought tears to my eyes - I am sitting in my tiny little office on a friday afternoon and I am thinking that, without realizing it, I have done the same thing since September 11th, 2001. It is a rare evening when I bliss out with music rather than fill my head with MSNBC or my StephCast - tonight I think I'll thumb through my old LPs and pull out a few and give them a listen - thanks mucho, TriSec, keep on playing, listening and writing...you groovy thang you =)

Comment by Raine on 01/25/2008 21:43:53
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y59/raine1967/rez.jpg


Minf you this is from Drudge, but I think Hillary now has a slumlord problem....

'I DON'T REMEMBER MEETING REZKO'

Fri Jan 25 2008 07:40:02



**INTERNET EXCLUSIVE**



Photo surfaces of smiling Clintons with Tony Rezko.



MORE...



Clinton injected the indicted developer's name this week in debate with Obama: 'I was fighting against those ideas when you were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago.'



Clinton tells NBC 'TODAY' show on Friday: 'I probably have taken hundreds of thousands of pictures. I don't know the man. I wouldn't know him if he walked in the door.'


The problem isn't really the picture, the problem is rather that when Obama said the same thing about Rezko, that was not acceptable to the clinton camp.



Developing.....

Comment by Raine on 01/25/2008 21:48:12
HEya Tri, I promise I will get back to painting after I get some more phone banking done...





Comment by Mondobubba on 01/25/2008 22:41:22
Quote by TriSec: Ah, I just finished reading "Bird Lives".



Now there's a hard life if there ever was one. And the hell of it is, so many musicians of that era felt it necessary to emulate him (Miles included...) As it was mentioned in the book, all of the cool people thought that in order to play like Bird, you had to do like Bird, often with the same tragic results.



Given that his recording, contracts, and legal life was a total trainwreck, it's a wonder any of his genius was recorded at all...









Now even if hadn't been a degenerate addict, I kinda get the feeling that Bird still would have been a pain in the ass to deal with. Certainly the drinking and the drugging didn't help.

Comment by Raine on 01/25/2008 22:51:11
I cannot tell you how funny it is when you get someone on the phone, and they tell me that they voted last week, Most are so very nice. And yes, I do say, "I am sorry, I hope you have a nice weekend!"

Comment by Raine on 01/25/2008 22:57:06
MS Velveeta, if you are here, can you please answer me a question (or anyone else who may know) can independents vote in the Dem primary in SC? I just got a guy who said he would vote for John, but he wasn't sure if he was allowed to vote.

Comment by Raine on 01/25/2008 22:59:42
IT is 6'oclock, I promised myself Iwould not make phone calls from 6-7 out of respect for people having dinner.

Comment by Raine on 01/25/2008 23:19:28
:rage: reports are that Hillary is going to use her delagates from Michigan and Florida.



That is just wrong.

Comment by velveeta jones on 01/25/2008 23:22:28
Quote by Raine: MS Velveeta, if you are here, can you please answer me a question (or anyone else who may know) can independents vote in the Dem primary in SC?



I just got a guy who said he would vote for John, but he wasn't sure if he was allowed to vote.


Not sure, being that I'm in North Carolina.

Comment by velveeta jones on 01/25/2008 23:24:46
Google says its an open primary ..........still researching.

Comment by livingonli on 01/25/2008 23:25:11
Quote by Raine: reports are that Hillary is going to use her delagates from Michigan and Florida.



That is just wrong.


The scariest thing could be a Hillary-Romney race. Two candidates neither one of the party activists want.

Comment by velveeta jones on 01/25/2008 23:26:15
OPEN: registered voter may vote in any party primary regardless of his or her own party affiliation. When voters do not pre-register with a party before the primary, it is called a pick-a-party primary because the voter can select which party's primary he or she wishes to vote in on election day. Because of the open nature of this system, a practice known as "raiding" may occur. "Raiding" consists of voters of one party crossing over and voting in the primary of another party. Although no cases can be shown where this has happened successfully, the theory is that opposing party members vote for the weakest candidate of the opposite party in order to give their own party the advantage in the general election.



Comment by Raine on 01/25/2008 23:34:32
Quote by velveeta jones: OPEN: registered voter may vote in any party primary regardless of his or her own party affiliation. When voters do not pre-register with a party before the primary, it is called a pick-a-party primary because the voter can select which party's primary he or she wishes to vote in on election day. Because of the open nature of this system, a practice known as "raiding" may occur. "Raiding" consists of voters of one party crossing over and voting in the primary of another party. Although no cases can be shown where this has happened successfully, the theory is that opposing party members vote for the weakest candidate of the opposite party in order to give their own party the advantage in the general election.

Now this is even more interesting...



(we have open primaries here in Georgia... I despise them)



Does this mean that Republcans can vote tomorrow? And did it mean that Dems could have voted last week??? :foil:



Comment by Raine on 01/25/2008 23:38:28
Quote by velveeta jones:
Quote by Raine: MS Velveeta, if you are here, can you please answer me a question (or anyone else who may know) can independents vote in the Dem primary in SC?



I just got a guy who said he would vote for John, but he wasn't sure if he was allowed to vote.


Not sure, being that I'm in North Carolina.


:doh: my apologies! :redface:

Comment by Raine on 01/25/2008 23:51:54
Jennifer hudson in DreamGirls... wow... what a set of pipes.

Comment by livingonli on 01/25/2008 23:55:25
Edwards is surging in SC but SC ballots are all electronic, no paper trail.



I am more than a little nervous about that. Will Shillary have a come from behind victory?

Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 00:08:19
Quote by livingonli: Edwards is surging in SC but SC ballots are all electronic, no paper trail.



I am more than a little nervous about that. Will Shillary have a come from behind victory?
I am nervous as well. No way willpeople tolerate the polls being so damn wrong to states in a row.



Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 00:17:05
Liv you got me real nervous now...

Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 00:18:18
Back to making phone calls....

Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 00:34:23
IF I can make a suggestion for everyone, no matter who you are endorsing... if you can, please contact the campaign and volunteer to make phone calls. It is really easy after the first 3 or three rejections...



But I have to say, it is the very best feeling in the world that you re doing something for the person you beleive should be elected as president.



:peace:



BAck to dialing...





Comment by livingonli on 01/26/2008 00:37:05
Did anyone show Kucinich's bowing out speech?

Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 00:54:34
Guh... I hate when Matthews says *the White Folk*

Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 01:04:13
WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!



Edwards up 40% in the past 4 days!



(PLUS... I just talked to a guy on the phone who said he would VOTE FOR EDWARDS!!!!)



he was previously an umcommitted Republican voter. He did not vote last week, and he wasn't sure what he would do tomorrow, and now he does!!! :banana:

Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 01:07:19
:xfingers: for John!!!

Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 01:08:38
Quote by livingonli: Did anyone show Kucinich's bowing out speech?
I saw a smidge of it in between the fire this afternoon... I guess Someone could check the cleveland plains dealer for the video...



Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 01:12:11
I Checked, nothing. LEt me do some more scouring... Give me a little time, I am still trying to make phone calls for the campaign... :peace:

Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 01:15:56
I am glad that KO will be explaining the superdelagtes tonite.

Comment by livingonli on 01/26/2008 01:23:01
I am recording it for when I get home.

Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 01:38:06
:grumble: KO is reviewign last nights debate.

Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 01:39:32
Quote by livingonli: I am recording it for when I get home.


Why did I think this was a *Real Friday* for you Liv?



Does this mean you are off tomorrow?

Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 01:40:40
SAM!!!!!!!! Damn shelachC is gonna be bummed, big time.



(I hope she is doing well and I am kinda hoping to see her soon!!!)

Comment by livingonli on 01/26/2008 01:41:09
Quote by Raine:
Quote by livingonli: I am recording it for when I get home.


Why did I think this was a *Real Friday* for you Liv?



Does this mean you are off tomorrow?


Yes, I am off tomorrow and Sunday. And I am also off next weekend so I can watch the Super Bowl on my glorious HD set.

Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 01:42:16
sam takes it home. How are any republicans hoping to keep thier jobs going to be able to support McCain's desire to stay in IRaq?

Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 01:44:17
Quote by livingonli:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by livingonli: I am recording it for when I get home.


Why did I think this was a *Real Friday* for you Liv?



Does this mean you are off tomorrow?


Yes, I am off tomorrow and Sunday. And I am also off next weekend so I can watch the Super Bowl on my glorious HD set.


cool!!! :clap:

Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 01:49:33
Taser story makes worse story...

Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 01:50:53
:rofl: No you're a crap head! Did I hear that right??? Did KO called Billo a crap head??? :rofl:

Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 01:52:34
OMG... the worst person REALLY deserved it... how could ANYONE with a basic understanding of friggin 8th grade (and I am leaning higher for the curve) not remeber that LINCOLN WAS ASSASSINATED????????????





Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 02:02:49
ok, dunno if anuone else will catch this, but tommorrow night at 6 pm, KO and DAVID GREGORY will be discussing the primary...





YES... no tweety was mentioned.



Interesting, at the very least. I look forward to the discussion without tweety despite his new found love for hillary.



{evil grin}

Comment by livingonli on 01/26/2008 02:04:29
Quote by Raine: ok, dunno if anuone else will catch this, but tommorrow night at 6 pm, KO and DAVID GREGORY will be discussing the primary...





YES... no tweety was mentioned.



Interesting, at the very least. I look forward to the discussion without tweety despite his new found love for hillary.



{evil grin}


I guess Tweety didn't want to give up his Saturday off. Which in this case is a good thing.

Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 02:53:34
BLOG assignment!!!



Just now on Hannity and colmbes, they showed a video of JohnMcCains mom being interviewed on C-span... She said that the base of the republican party will not support her son... She also went on to say that they will have to, as she held her nose.



I shit you not. I MUST find this video!!!!!!!!





Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 02:56:21
Link from wapo......
And while McCain's 95-year old mother Roberta told C-SPAN's Steve Scully Thursday that the GOP will have to "hold its nose and pick" McCain "as the nominee," the senator said that he did not necessarily endorse that sentiment.



"I respect and love her," he said of his mother. "My mother and I, as much as I love her, don't always agree on every issue. My mother deserves a little bit of latitude, given the fact that she has always tried to speak in a candid fashion."


Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 02:57:53
Frm HuffPo:
Candidate's mother acting very un-C-SPAN on C-SPAN:



Q: How much support do you think he has among the base of the Republican Party?



Roberta McCain: "I don't think he has any. I don't know what the base of the Repub-maybe I don't know enough about it, but I've not seen any help whatsoever."


Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 03:12:36
OK, for the record, John McCans mom looks EXACTLY like... and reminds me of when she speeks.... of jessica Tandy in Driving Miss Daisy.

Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 03:15:36
Comment by TriSec on 01/26/2008 03:18:04
Quote by livingonli:
Quote by Raine: reports are that Hillary is going to use her delagates from Michigan and Florida.



That is just wrong.


The scariest thing could be a Hillary-Romney race. Two candidates neither one of the party activists want.




Evening, folks.



Funny you should mention that, liv. The father of one of Javi's friends is

William G. Mayer, Political Science prof an Northeastern U.



He picked Hillary and Mitt some months ago...



And yes, I have a couple of his books, but I haven't had a chance to read any yet.





Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 03:21:00
For the record... let us revisit THIS video....







John is more than happy to use his Mom. and the bottom line is that while we are out there slamming hillary for using Bill, JohnnyMac is doingthe very same thing with his mommy.





Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 03:22:36
Quote by TriSec:
Quote by livingonli:
Quote by Raine: reports are that Hillary is going to use her delagates from Michigan and Florida.



That is just wrong.


The scariest thing could be a Hillary-Romney race. Two candidates neither one of the party activists want.




Evening, folks.



Funny you should mention that, liv. The father of one of Javi's friends is

William G. Mayer, Political Science prof an Northeastern U.



He picked Hillary and Mitt some months ago...



And yes, I have a couple of his books, but I haven't had a chance to read any yet.



Oh dear... I hope he is wrong I would be glad with mitt, but hillary... NO.





Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 03:25:33
Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 03:31:52


from that link:


NBC confronts Hillary with 'slum lord' photo



On Friday morning's episode of the Today Show on NBC, host Matt Lauer discussed Monday night's testy debate between presidential candidates Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-IL). In particular, he focused on her allegation that Obama had represented Tony Rezko, the indicted Chicago businessman whom she referred to as a "slum lord."



Lauer then presented Clinton with a photo of Rezko posing between Sen. Clinton as first lady and her husband during his presidency. He asked if she remembered meeting Rezko.



Clinton said she did not, and parried, "I don't have a 17-year relationship with him."



The senator also argued that it wasn't unfair for her to bring up Rezko during the debate.



"I try not to attack first," Clinton said, "but I have to defend myself and I do have to counter punch."


More at link... BUT.... this does not bode well for me regarding Clinton. I am not a stupid person.





Comment by Raine on 01/26/2008 03:33:32
No matter what happens saturday in SC... this will haunt hill before 2/5.

Comment by BobR on 01/26/2008 14:35:23
Tri - sorry I didn't comment to this yesterday - I was encased in salt, and then I had to go dig in my second salt pile until midnight.



My story is similar to TriSec's. My father is an accomplished pianist, playing big-band music (like Stan Kenton) from the 40's and boogie from the 20's. I remember him coming home every night and sitting down and playing while Mom made dinner. He never played in a band or professionally.



I have uncles and other assorted relatives that play (played?) bluegrass. Every year was the "Olde Fiddler's Picnic" at the local fairgrounds, and my uncles et al would be there jamming, giving Roy Clarke some serious competition.



I took piano lessons for about 6 years, but was a little embarrassed by it, because it wasn't "macho", so I never really shared it with anyone. I sang in the school chorus and the select choir (which you had to try out for). I was steeped in music my whole "formative" years, mostly classical along with big band and "show tunes".



I turned on to modern music in my teens, first top 40, then soul and funk (which is what the local AM station played). When we finally got an FM music station, I started listening to rock. That really connected, the energy, the attitude, the lyrics. I started learing how to play guitar.



Everything I read said "learn to play by learning songs of your records". For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to do that. I didn't know where to start. The lesson books I got had me playing "Mary Had a Little Lamb", and I was trying to learn the Rolling Stones. There was no where to take lessons, being such a tiny town.



So I started making up my own songs, using the chords I learned from the songbooks and whatever other little licks I could pick up along the way. I'd always been pretty good writing stories and poems, so writing lyrics came easy (as easy as creating something out of thin air can be).



Eventually, this led to me playing in a few "rock" bands. It was the 80's so it was more a mix of punk, new wave, and rock, bouncing around in the music-sphere occupied by the B-52s, Duran Duran, and Psychodelic Furs. We were all original and I wrote half the songs, and it was a wonderful time to be alive.



fast-foward 10 years and my band life had been replaced by Real Life. I wasn't playing with friends any more, was barely writing songs. I listened to music all the time and fantacized about getting back into music, but I was travelling a lot for work (often at a moment's notice), so I just gave up on it.



I had started writing songs again when 9/11 rolled around, experimenting with alternate tunings on the guitar. Seeing the buildings burning with my own eyes and experiencing those feelings watching the coverage in a crappy hotel room as I tried to figure out how I was going to get home (and how my country was going to deal with this attack) inspired me to write this song:



Free

Lost, Iím lost, Adrift without a compass, tempest tossed

Iím lost, so lost, An ocean of confusion to be crossed.



Never looking back forgetting,

Never looking back regretting,

Right or wrong itís up to meÖ

Free.



Found, Iím found, Alone, determined, feet on solid ground.

Found, Iíve found A strength inside that screams without a sound.



Never looking back forgetting,

Never looking back regretting,

Right or wrong itís up to meÖ

Free.



No stars provide divine direction

No roof provides for my protection

No chains to cage the eagle flying,

Or the heart thatís trying,



Free, Iím Free, Free to live the life thatís right for me.

Iím Free, to be The culmination of my destiny.


I've been limping along with my music ever since. I used to write at least one song a week - now I'm lucky to get two out a year. I've been playing more, and trying to focus more on songwriting, but when I pick up my guitar, I tend to play through my older "catalog" more than I work on new songs.



I've decided this year that I'm going to try to work on "fundamentals" more to become a better player, and I'm going to play live again (even if it's initially only "open mic night"s at first), but my soul needs this, and some narcissistic part of me things it would make others feel better too.