I guess I really haven't been keepin' you informed…
I hinted the other day about traveling and the fact that I’m back to work. I’m involved in a large band project (at least 15 people on stage so far) and they are rehearsing on the east coast for a US and European tour. It’s always exciting to work on a brand new project as this band has never played live together. The energy that occurs from a large scale collaboration is difficult to manage but can be remarkable to witness when it gets a head of steam and hits its stride; the Born At The Right Time band of 1990-1992 that Paul Simon put together was like that.
This is a time when much of the music out there is just not satisfying; these are the time when you either get back to the basics and re-explore the things you know are true or take a chance and create something new. Either way, the stripping away of pretense is cathartic, cleansing and grounding for everyone involved.
I have been blessed to work for some amazing groups over the past 20 years in a lot of different genres. From the master level groups of Lee Ritenour in the mid-80’s to Paul Simon’s giant percussive orchestras to the nearly ESP-like communication of Little Feat, you learn things that no book, no school or any blogger can tell you. It can be like prayer, mind reading, team sports and therapy all at once; a conversation between a group of musicians will be overheard by an audience. The audience in turn will get either spiritual food or a reprieve from endless chatter of their lives if it is done well.
I’ve been there when it was just bad wallpaper for a bad house full of sad people. I keep coming back for the spiritual food as it keeps me engaged and fills me with hope. To be a small part of a good effort and pay for the cat food… that’s a blessing.