Monday, 30 June 2014

Monk's wisdom

Here is a terrific, witty, but also slightly scary image of one of the most creative and innovative musicians of the last century, together with some handwritten advice aimed at musicians he's playing with.  I think some of these guidelines have relevance in much more general contexts too.

For me they have great resonance, as I am a very amateur and inexperienced keyboard player in a rather good pub band, which for me is an intense context of rather feverish learning!  The next step up for me is for a one verse solo in the middle of a standard Bluenote number such as Horace Silver's 'Song for my Father' to become something I can attempt without feeling I am doing a slalom without ski-poles down the steepest run at Val d'Isere.

The assumption in Thelonius's notes that everyone is learning, even if they are good enough to play in his band, and that this is a collaborative process taking place as a result of doing the job itself, is very encouraging for novices like me....

At the last gig I managed to survive at the bottom of two solos, hot, breathless and excited - and as Marcus encouragingly pointed out, that's more than the number of goals scored by Rooney in the World Cup!

Thanks to Perse for these gems, and for his excellent and formative leadership!

1 comment:

  1. I liked this piece very much - I picture you, Jay, playing that solo with joy and grace