Welcome, ladies and gentlemen.
I would first like to congratulate you for being here on this occasion. It is an honor to have such distinguished guests. It is certainly my pleasure to be your host tonight, and to prepare an evening of music such as this. I would first of all like to thank all the spirits, alive and dead, that were my teachers and guides during this journey — most directly: Wynton Marsalis, Stanley Crouch, R. Kelly, John Coltrane, Keith Jarrett, Arnold Schoenberg, Ben Johnston, and Steve Coleman.
This world is filled with souls of Great Artists and the souls of their Great Works, in communion with the Source of Things. It is in taking the lessons of these spirits that we can learn how to prepare generations for their destiny. It is with the most sincere humility that I present this album in Tribute to all my Teachers.
We sort of convened this evening to talk about jazz. Shall we determine our boundaries? Perhaps, we are talking about jazz, after all. In the film 'Next,' Nicolas Cage, paraphrasing Carlotti, defines beauty: “He said it was a summation of the parts, working together in such a way that nothing needed to be added, taken away, or altered.” This means that jazz does not need to include new trends, it does not need to exclude certain practitioners, and it does not need re-branding. The component parts of jazz include the literature, the language, the individual musicians, and the music that influenced them. The source elements of jazz have real roots all over our Planet. When people meet, results can be mixed at best, but when the Arts meet, a different sort of discussion takes place. The act of convening — to play, to explore, to learn, to discover, to share!
Wynton Marsalis: “The real power of jazz and the innovation of jazz is that a group of people can come together and create art, improvised art and can negotiate their agendas, with each other, and that negotiation is the art. Like, you hear all the time that Bach improvised, and he did improvise, but he wasn’t gonna look at the second viola and say ‘Okay, lets play ein feisty burg.’ They were not going to do that. Whereas in jazz you could, I could get together, I could go to Milwaukee tomorrow and there’d be three musicians I walk into a bar at, two thirty in the mornin’ and say uh, ‘Whatchu wanna play man? Let’s play some blues!’ Well all three of us, all four of us are gonna start playin’ and I might say doo doodl-ee doo, and then they’ll say bup, bup badoo badoo dalee badoo, brra-bap, tadoo bum, badee dalee da-diddly dee badoo dalee badoo dadoo uh, uh, uh—everybody will just start compin’ and playin’ and listenin’ and the bass… you never know what they’re gonna do. So, that’s our Art. The four of us can now have a dialogue, we can have a conversation.”
released December 8, 2016
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