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    Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 11:19 AM

    Zen Mailbox

    Cool Another beautiful day out there, soon to be another scorcher. Front and center here with that first cup of Morning Joe. 
         This is an 'uneventful' period for me. Not much happening right now, musically or otherwise.. But it's also a nice smooth period- maybe by virtue of being uneventful. No news is good news. I am known to utter this when I find an empty mailbox after the mail has been delivered. No news is at least the absence of bad news. I like those days when I have a 'Zen mailbox'. 
          So a smooth period is really more about what it's not.  Mainly, it's refreshingly bereft of drama. That stuff that gets you all stirred up, raises blood pressure, messes with your sleep. I've had to work on both, and find that I like my blood pressure nice and low(with meds)and I love getting a good night's sleep. 
         A fair amount of guitar playing/practicing is happening right now. No marathons- and I may well be too old for those shenanigans- but still some practice, some work. Which is going to yield at least some improvement. I haven't had anything lately that I considered worth posting on YouTube, but sooner or later I'll have an inspired moment or two to share with you. 
       Listening last night to a Jim Hall CD called Dedications and Inspirations. Very imaginative. Hall was never a chop-monster, but always had a wealth of other stuff going: elegant lines, all kindsa crazy chords, wonderful taste. I occasionally miss the flurries(which some guitarists kill you with)but not for long. Too much else happening. 
      Grant Green is another guitarist who doesn't bowl you over with his chops, but still has a lot to say. He plays with spirit and verve. His lines are usually simple, but he can get going on longer lines. Still, an understated style. No torrents of 8th notes(like you'd hear from Pat Martino)or other pyrotechnics, but still an enjoyable player. Wanna pick up another Grant Green CD or several. 
      These two guitarists serve as a reminder to me that it's not about chops. Jazz is a player's art, and therefore presupposes a high level of technical mastery. But it's still(and should be)ultimately about what you have to say. Pure and simple. To switch instruments for a minute, Thelonious Monk was not a player with great facility, but he was so much himself that he's endured where so many others haven't. 
      This is probably wayyy too much to read. Thanks for wading through it all. Happy Wednesday to you. I'm outa here. More later. 
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