Good early afternoon from Lake Tahoe, writing in the back seat of our Honda mini van as Rick Parker and his 12 to 15 cups of coffee manage the wheel. Had an incredible show and time to start things off in Truckee, north side of the lake, an endearing town thats hung to its history. Moody's was the club, really warm people, and we were put up in the connecting hotel Truckee, which has remained virtually unchanged since it's structure left ground level in the late 1800's. Its officially been 8 months since we dropped our first record and started this endless touring, and the music continues to grow into new spaces. Having Hernan Hecht on drums and Aaron Cruz on bass is such a gift, they own it and I trust them, all three the rest of us trust them to keep everything vibrant with life and movement. And the vibe on and off the gig is so positive, the music world can get dark, it can hurt, and we can get pissed off, but I learn a lot from these guys in not making the complaining the usual conversation. It is a tough way to make a living, and perhaps it chose us as much as we chose it, but we're dug deep into it, so celebrate. Im fortunate to play with a bunch of guys that operate that way, most recently Dean Magraw and Jay Epstein in Minneapolis, can't really get through my head how that happened after seeing Dean play for years growing up, and C Bates, Schutte, Meckler are life long friends.

 

The aforementioned other three of us this tour are Rick Parker on the trombone, electric trombone, Dred Scott on the ivory-modeled plastics (keyboards) and myself. Trombone? one may ask. This is not your city big band's trombone playing, all due respect to the many wonderful city big bands in existence, but Rick runs a slew of effects and creates some really incredible textures, aside from burning when its called for. It takes no time for Dred him to assimilate. He's just a ridiculous player and imaginative mind. 

 

Its a really grown up band and I love it. Its taken tome for me to feel comfortable in a setting like this, but at this point Im really apprehension and nerve free, a miracle in itself. Self doubt lingers but I think we're all together in that. Being able to talk warmly as a band, celebrate our individual and collective means of expression, and support each other makes any doubt benign in its effects on playing.

 

We took the drive around the lake yesterday, hung on some rocks and stared at the sky. Its beautiful to rediscover a sense of awe and wonder from time to time when we're not trying to figure a way to make this thing work from the standpoint of logistics, finances, and so on. Just get warm and altruistic. Felt wonderful standing at the lake watching everything. Sent me thinking as to how music lives in the natural world, its been there forever. You can feel lines in the sky. Everything we express is already out there, its just a matter of how close we are to the source of what we want to channel. Passing moments, places I can feel it. If it weren't for music I would be a devout atheist, perhaps hopeless, certainly existential in thought. Thats not to categorize atheists as hopeless, can often be quite the opposite, but with music, at least I believe there is something. I feel like I know it, maybe thats dangerous, but theres a profound sense of depth to life, the human condition, human interaction that lives in music, certainly elsewhere as well. I find it through music. It makes me a believer in whatever it is that does that speaking. Its encouraging to even consider in thought, and to have the opportunity to do so nightly with 4 friends and incredible players, inspired players, I'm grateful.

 

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