I bought a Stagg xylophone in 2021 with the goal of learning to play the thing at a level of community orchestra.
My drumkit playing has improved since last time I played in a concert band. But, living in Toronto, expectations are much higher. So, I'm practicing.
I've discovered that mallet percussion is a whole new world. Besides the mechanics of the instrument, I've had to relearn how to improvise. You be the judge. This is the progress after 3 weeks of jazz practice. Click on the photo.
Top 5 things I can do to grow as a musician in 2022
A xylophone performance of Everybody Loves My Baby. I bought a xylophone in 2021 during Covid and I'm learning to play the dang thing. Two mallets here, four mallets coming up soon. Written in 1924, 75 years+ of silliness.
I watched with fascination the "Listening to Kenny G" Documentary today.
1. The guy oozed confidence and charisma in equal measures. His high school band director shares delightful stories on camera. Kenny was a real show boater from the start.
2. He believes he can learn anything if he just focuses and seeks out the information and then applies himself.
3. Pat Metheny's legendary rant comes off as jealousy and envy. There is an interesting discussion amongst the critics as to what jazz is and isn't over the course of the documentary.
4. The critics interviewed have both scorn and admiration in about equal parts. The critics do not put down or ridicule the aesthetic experiences of his millions of fans. His appeal in China is explained. Hint: the pentatonic scale. (The explanation is in Mandarin; I'm assuming the subtitles were accurate.)
5. He speaks with the confidence of a musician who has been listened to a billion times or more. The guy oozes confidence and charisma in equal measures. In this I find him equally admirable and annoying at the same time. He has Chutzpah.
6. His live band kicks ass, the concerts look like fun. The bassist and drummer lock it in. His early recordings sound hilariously dated. He admits as much.
7. The guy practices his ass off. And in the practice room he really demonstrates he can play.
8. He jokes about his hair.
Did I run and stream his music afterwards? Not yet.
Covid is back. Musicians are sidelined. My heart goes out to my colleagues who rely on performance income.
As we wait for the fire to die down, we practice, compose, dream and wait for better times.
1. Jazz today at Tartistry. I'm playing drums.
2. Recording duets with Glen Hall. I'm playing synthesizer/piano.
3. Classic rock with the "Vintage People" on Wednesday. Time for the big drum kit!
4. Drum lesson with Lowell Whitty, a weekly highlight.
Returning this weekend drumming with Pacy Schulman Jazz quartet at Tartary in Etobicoke. Saturdays at 2 pm. It's been a long wait. For details check here.
Do drummers ever stop dreaming of drums? Nope.
Do pianist every stop dreaming of playing? Nope.
Do composers every stop put sound in order? Nope.
I guess presentation is half the game.
What I'm up to behind the scenes.