June 11, 2005


What bothers me most about the loss of Mark Manetta -- and I've been trying to figure out why I'm thinking about him so much when I really shouldn't be, you know, using the relative scale of grief that I constructed for myself long ago -- is how much of a reminder it is of traumas past and future.

When someone who makes music dies, their sound disappears with them. And so much of their personality is wrapped into their sound, that it's almost a double loss. Well, no, not almost. It is a double loss. You lose the person, all of those things about them that make up your memories, and on top of that, you lose their sound - that other living being they create with their hands and heart.

Playing--the individual act of fingers on axe--is the thumbprint of the artist. Yes, we have recordings. I have recordings of my father too. But the energy behind the notes, the pain and the release--they take that with them. Jaco took it with him. Joe Pass took it with him. Miles took it with him. They all take it when they go.

There's no way to reconstruct the live-session self, the self that engages and interprets what others are saying in a completely unique way, at the moment of creation and into the future.

If painting were music, we would marvel at how the artist dips his brush in water, or mixes the right shade of blue on the palette -- we would dig all of the technique and vision involved during the creative process, before the piece is mastered. What we hang on the wall, that's the CD version of art. You see?

That's why music is special. That's why losing Mark so young just stinks.

June 10, 2005

You know you need some

Vinnie Colaiuta - Steve Gadd - Dave Weckl

Three Part Movie - Drummer Showdown from 1989 - where have I been that I hadn't seen it?

http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/gaddwecklcolaiuta1.html (part 1)

http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/gaddwecklcolaiuta2.html (part 2) - gadd is a classy mofo

http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/gaddwecklcolaiuta3.html (part 3)

Your bonus? A video slowdown of a great Gadd lick.

Do not review multiple times. Can cause brain damage.

Have I Mentioned Lately

The James Taylor website is really nice, and it's kind of a blog, but only now and then by James, and with a nice little Flash dashboard on the right that feels just like a cd player. Production quality= excellent. Note to folks: Add a few more songs to the playbox.

Oh and...

I Wish I Had a River too, James.
Oh I wish I had a river so I could teach my feet to fly away. I wish I had a river I could skate away on, too.

In Memoriam, Mark Manetta

We got sad news last night that jazz guitarist (and friend) Mark Manetta died. Far too soon. George would be the one to speak best about Mark as a friend and fellow musician--he played with Mark a lot during the decade+ the two were in Rochester. You'll probably know Mark best from his work as the guitarist on many of Chuck Mangione's recordings. He also played with Ben Vereen, the Rochester and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestras, and many others.

Mark taught and/or influenced dozens of the gifted guitarists who've come out of Rochester. Even with all the reasons I'm glad I don't live there anymore, Rochester, NY has the most dense population of truly talented jazz artists (especially guitarists, followed by sax and trumpet) of any small- to mid-size city in the U.S. (and a lot of the big cities too).

That's in part because of the Eastman School of Music, and part because the musical DNA of the jazz players in that little patch of the world has somehow intertwined to create a unique sound --and some legends. The guitarists who are Rochester taught have a special sound. You'll notice it most on ballads. They aren't afraid to cry for you. Part of that sound is undeniably Mark Manetta's.

It's been 12 years since I've seen Mark, but he always felt like family to me. He reminded me of my Uncle Tony, with his booming voice, those bright eyes, and big hug. Never mind the curls.

I feel really blessed to have travelled the outer edges of that musical circle for as long as I did.

And I feel really sad when I think of Mark's guitar sitting in its stand right now lonely for his hands.

Peace, Mark.

Mark on Soul Eyes, from Vince Ercolamento's Delightful Eyes
Mark on Say What, from Vince Ercolamento's Delightful Eyes

Mark wrote the following on a Joe Pass memorial site: Thanks Joe, I'll never forget what you did for me. I know God was waiting for you in heaven. Don't show him all the chords untill I get there!

Guess we know what God's doing today. Lucky Guy.

June 08, 2005

Happy Birthday, Johnny Depp (and me and a lot of other people)


from answers.com

1686 - Andrei Osterman, Russian statesman (d. 1747)
1768 - Samuel Slater, US industrialist (d. 1835)
1810 - Otto Nicolai, composer (d. 1849)
1812 - Johann Gottfried Galle, German astronomer (d. 1910)
1882 - Angus Walters, schooner captain (d. 1968)
1843 - Bertha von Suttner, novelist, pacifist, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace 1905 (d. 1914)
1845 - Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 4th Earl of Minto (d. 1914)
1849 - Michael Peter Ancher, Danish painter (d. 1927)
1851 - Charles Joseph Bonaparte, politician (d. 1921)
1865 - Albéric Magnard, composer (d. 1914)
1882 - Bobby Kerr, Canadian sprinter (d. 1963)
1891 - Cole Porter, composer and lyricist (d. 1964)
1900 - Fred Waring, bandleader, inventor (d. 1984)
1916 - Robert McNamara, United States Secretary of Defense, former president of the World Bank
1916 - Les Paul, guitarist
1922 - John Gillespie Magee, Jr., American poet and aviator († 1941)
1931 - Jackie Mason, comedian
1937 - Harald Rosenthal, biologist
1939 - Ileana Cotrubas, Romanian soprano
1939 - Dick Vitale, sportscaster
1956 - Patricia Cornwell, author
1961 - Michael J. Fox, actor
1961 - Aaron Sorkin, director, producer, writer
1963 - Johnny Depp, actor
1964 - Gloria Reuben, actress
1975 - Andrew Symonds, cricketer
1977 - Peja Stojakovi?, Serbian NBA star
1978 - Miroslav Klose, football player, National Team of Germany
1981 - Natalie Portman, actress

And let's not forget, this one day a year is also set aside for the United States' Race Unity Day!

As to the other 364 days of the year, you may resume your disunion.

feels flip floppy

I think that the turning point in your 40s is the point at which you realize you know more dead people than living people. I mean more people gone than here. Maybe that's not 40s for everyone, maybe it's 30s or 50s or 60s for some, but for me I think 43 is the pivitol year, the year that I realize I know more people below ground than above ground, and that's a strange damn feeling, like you're stepping on your past wherever you go. In blogging I met a whole world of living folks, which has been interesting for sure, and maybe it's making us all younger because it adds to our balance of living people we know.

Stepping on the dead is something you learn about when you spend a lot of time at cemetaries as a kid, and since I was a kid staring at my dad's grave, I know something about that, not knowing where the edges are, where it's okay to step or not, where does my dad end and the soil begin, the least they could do is put a chalk outline on top of the grass, and the other thing is the tombstone, that most of them have two sides and there's writing on both sides, and it makes you feel like you're not sure if you're coming or going, if it's talking to the dead person or to you, the visitor, about the dead person. Then there are tombstones that are messages FROM you TO the dead person, "Our loving mother...You graced us for 87 years...Now you walk with God," and in the end, I never understand who the audience is. Kind of like the edges of the grave and where not to step. Somewhere it's about marketing, about making mistakes that no one notices, about turning 43.

I always thought my dad needed a bigger tombstone. Leastwise it could have mapped out the parameters for the placement of my feet.

There are rules about flowers too, live and dead, what you can leave and can't.

It gets tricky is what I'm saying.

I think of these sometimes when I'm trying to fall asleep.


Secretly, I don't want you to find me here. Secretly, I don't want you to read me. Well, a little, but not too much and not too closely. Secretly, I don't want to know you. Secretly, I want you to know me if you find me, but I don't want you to find me. Secretly, if you find me, I REALLY want you to know me, all of me. Secretly, I want to move in secret circles where we don't have to talk, write. Just sit breathe. I come here for quiet. Honestly? It's so damn noisy here.

Was a house party, a gathering, talking about what you talk about when you sit in garage-sale couches drinking beer from a can. What kind of fool would punditize there, on a green-cushioned chair, among friends? What kind of fool would talk outside of their own body, telling you to read so-and-so, to look here, look there, what he said, she said, what the Wall Street Journal said.

Would you get up and leave--a pundit at your party?

I would get up and leave.

That's what I run up against every time I betray myself here. In writing. Who's the jerk in the green chair with the can of Coors talking about journalism and PR, about clients, about aggregators, about people who talk about those things? Who invited her?

Secretly, I want to bounce the pundits from this gathering. Especially the pundit pieces of me.

June 07, 2005

car stuff

First of all, the keyboard on my Acer Travelmate seems to be tiring of my constant abuse. Especially the "A" key, and suddenly too there is a lag keeping up with my typing. I hope it's just crumbs. From Starbucks the other day. I remember when my Dell started to wear out, the keyboard went first. I spent as much time backspacing as typing forward. I get all squeegee when I remember those days.

Then I was thinking to tell you about my car stuff that took all day to do. That's been the hardest adjustment in moving to a wide-apart metro area like Atlanta for me---if you can get one thing done in a day, that's all you can expect from yourself. It's not the grocery store, the doctor, AND the school function. It's the grocery store, the doctor, OR the school function. Whereas in Rochester everything is 20 minutes away, no matter where you are, here in Atlanta, everything is a circumnavigates everything else and there is just no getting from point a to b to c to a. Only a to b to a.

Right, so today I beat my personal best: An emissions test at one location, and oil change/brake-light/air-filter at another location, FOLLOWED BY a stop the the bank AND a drop off and pick up of Jenna from Volley Ball Camp.

Of course, what that means is that I didn't work at all.

That's what I get to do now.

After this post.

I've been uninspired lately. I like to blame the Aggregator 2.0, which takes the blood out of the process. Remote control blog viewing -- no going back. No I'm not going to get up and change the channel. So I guess I just won't turn it on.

Oh yah, in other news, I turn 43 Thursday.


some blogs I want to chew on

Engadget is a blog with nice roundy edges and always these delicious latest shiny tech gadgets I want to touch so badly, and while I scroll, I get all tactile and just shivery because I can't touch the inside of the blog.

It needs a big sign from a museum warning parents to keep their children's hands off the priceless possessions.

Let me bite you, engadget.

June 06, 2005

working since 9 a.m.

without break and am now growing very giddy/tired.

too many animals. too little time.

clients want to know what bloggers say.

tracking the conversation takes work--listening with our eyeballs. Interpreting. Instinctive hyperlinking.

thank you for stopping by.

my neck hurts.

And what gall does T-Mobile have charging like $30 a month or $9 a day for its starbucks hotspot connection? What kind of anal product marketing effort is this?

Blog Note to T-Mo:
Dawgs, I sat in yer hotzpot zone all day and leached off the gymnasium across the street. It's a hotspot-licious world. I'll pay you $1 a day to make it easier than refreshing my wireless connections once an hour. That's my limit.
Peace Out.