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Another year older and deeper in debt...so the song says. Yesterday was my b-day and I also started composition lessons with Wadada Leo Smith. What a great experience! I studied privately and played in Leo's bands @ CalArts and now I'm trying to get some direction with my composing skills through him. He is able to pinpoint my composing problems immediately and show me ways to change and develop ideas in a very organic way. It's a thrill and an honor to be studying privately with a true improvising legend/master. Today I started rehearsals with Neil Sadler for his gig in may. Neil has a great drum/tabla player named Jason McKenzie playing. Jason just moved here from Texas and went to school at the University of North Texas. I also met a cool trumpet player named Lisa Edelman who will be graduating from CalArts this semester. I guess Neil has confirmed that Mike Keneally will be playing guitar on this gig. You might know this great guitar player from Zappas last band and his own Beer For Dolphins group. Neil also might have some of the Fowler brothers and Albert Wing (also from Zappas band) playing horns! I'm excited and nervous at the same time! My thanks to my friend Andre LaFosse for referring me to this gig. Later... I gots ta practice...

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