Thursday, July 21, 2011

Playing Time Against My Troubles

I may or may not be melting as I type this. Even nestled in the cozy catacombs of my unlit basement (coincidentally listening to the Miles track that provides the namesake of this blog) the sun's relentless rays appear to be on the hunt. While being as cool as Miles Davis is indeed impossible, I was hoping he could at least drop me down a few degrees. It doesn't appear to be working.
I digress.
This, if I recall, is the first, and likely last, truly anticipated blog post as it will center around the Stockhausen family gathering and the great honor and pleasure to be a part of last weekend. Unfortunately, I entered the scene just as Sean Taylor was leaving to handle some business. I know that there have been a few time in this thing where I go a little hard on Sean because simply sometimes it just can't be helped. However, in all seriousness, I can think of no man I know who works harder at what he loves to do and does a better job with it. I can't respect Sean Taylor enough and I'm proud to consider him a dear friend.
For the second time in about three posts, "enough with the sentimental stuff."
I entered the place and the jam session was already in full swing. I can think of few better ways to enter a space than to be immediately wrapped in the embrace of casual live music. It brings about the desire for reflection in me, a feeling I always embrace.
I didn't need much provocation to join the festivities and I laid down a few spontaneous verses and some vocals etc. Ben and Mr. Taylor were really welcoming to my vibe and we created some tunes that people really seemed to enjoy. Ben and I really seemed to be in the pocket that night. A kind of musical niche, if you well. It's something I'm starting to develop with Jay as we play about once a week, but I haven't had it consistently since I used to play with the Beard. It's overwhelmingly pleasant to be able to read another musicians mind and respond to their stimulus. It was a great session and something that was definitely present in the room that night.
I love Mr. Taylor's demeanor in jam sessions. The man has a wealth of talent and knowledge that I always seem to learn from. He's really very open as a musician, yet he's very quick the facilitate the action by saying to someone "keep it up" or "wait" or "cut it out." He's passionate and all, but I think that can be said about all of us. What's cool is that the man has ears all over the room and is confident enough to try and bring the sound in his head to life. It's always a different kind of session when he's involved. I mean that in a very positive sense. He tends to bring out the best in people.
Following the session I was a little embarrassed because I sweating pretty profusely following not very much actual physical activity. With that said, I do tend to stay in a perpetual state of motion when performing. A state of motion I found defined me amongst Deanna's more distant relatives. A couple of times I was told that they were asking Deanna about the guy who did {Inset your own spontaneous hip and hand gyration here} and whether or not he was coming that night. I was quite flattered and suddenly very aware of just how mobile the human body could be.
This brings me to my next point of discussion: The Stockhausen family.
The Stockhausen's have always been incredibly warm people towards me and this past weekend only further highlighted their welcoming nature. After the session, the family decided to play some thumper (I wish this game came up at half of my family gatherings) a game which I hadn't played since a Vermont trip a couple of years back. You know it's going to be an occasion to remember when grandma joins in on the fun. It was just a great time. To see a family laughing and enjoying one another so much was great and I knew I was witnessing something very special.
Though I will say that if I shared the "whip-a-doodle" with any of my relatives, I don't doubt that I would be barred from any future family occasions until such time as I could be proven sane.
After the game died down, they all stayed up for at least another hour and shared stories from their younger days about some wild times and whatnot that I won't repeat here, but the openness in the family unbelievable and enviable. I had a wonderful time. This family dynamic was one of a kind and I can't thank them enough for making me feel like one of their own.
Shared at the Beanberry this past week again. The intimacy of the place continues to blow my mind. I was little concerned about sharing this week, given that my most recent piece is about my relationship to basketball. I mean no disrespect, but the crowd didn't exactly strike as a crew invested in the present and past of the NBA. It was of real comfort to see some friendly faces in the audience. I'm really appreciative to those people for attending. You know who you are, and it meant quite a bit to me. Thank you. Hopefully we'll be buffin' it up on the beach in short order.
Again the crowd was really receptive and it was great hear such great talent gathered in one place. Not to call him out, but it was the first time I'd seen Ryan Smith perform and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I look forward to spending more time in that space.
I will say this, only I could perform a piece and leave with two guys' numbers. Kind of a shake your head moment, to say the least.
Camp goes well. I feel like I have about three stories a day, but when it comes to blogging, I have to kind of trim the fat. A couple of things.
1. As a result of my Monopoly prowess, (I actually lost the game, but they don't seem to care/notice) a few kids have started calling me "The Constable." I'm thrilled with the moniker. "Poli" has treated me well, but it may be time for a change. I remember wanting to be called "Young Jeezy" for a day in Rhapsody just to see if we could get through it with a straight face. Also, I've always secretly dreamed of being called Sir Topham Hatt by my peers, but that's another blog post entirely.
2. I want to preface this by saying I certainly mean no disrespect, I just can't lie. I find it hilarious when little kids around here assume that two black kids that hang out together are siblings. To hear such blunt honesty from kids on both ends of the question is absurdly humorous to me. It says a lot about our neck of the woods. Again, not the most P.C. thing I've ever said, but I swear to witness it is to believe it.
Stay cool, dear readers.
Advice of the Day: When seeking employment, sometimes working hard is not enough. You've got to learn to be a respectful pain in the ass, too.
Song of the Day: 1921- The Who
Jazz Song of the Day: I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry- Keith Jarrett Trio

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