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School is going well. I have my student group mostly together...after a couple of bumps. I am fortunate to have some really great players involved, maybe not necessarily "fortunate" as I am in one of the best music schools in the world. But these guys are above and beyond. Ian is the best trombone player I have ever heard. Period. He is so creative. He also does a Yamatsuka Eye kind of thing. Oh yeah, and he studied with Delfeayo Marsalis. Go figure. Ingo Deul is playing drums, and he is amazing. The only German dude I know from New Orleans. Ori Barel is playing sax and laptop. Ori is a great improviser, he just doesn’t know it yet. I am also fortunate to be studying North Indian music with sarode/sitar master. Aashish Khan, the son of Ali Akbar Khan, (who is considered the greatest sarode player ever, pretty much). Aashish is no slouch, jesus, not only is he a great player, he did the film score to Gandhi, hes played with George Harrison and Eric Clapton. He also told us he used to have a quartet with Alice Coltrane, Charlie Haden and his brother on tabla. I’m not worthy. But I like it. I am also taking solkattu (Indian, vocalized rhythm) with Paul Livingstone. He was at CalArts getting his masters degree while I was doing my undergrad, back in ‘97. It’s nice he remembers me. The Electronic Creative Orchestra, a 22-piece, electro-acoustic group with 12 laptop/electronic guys and 10 traditional musicians , run by, Mark Trayle and Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, is starting to get really good. There are some truly creative individuals making up this group. I am especially digging this guy named Phil. While electronics guys are using laptops, Phil is using just stomp-box, effect pedals and a mixer to control self-perpetuating feedback loops. I think this guy has to be a genius. As for anything else, I am practicing 2-8 hours a day as my schedule permits. I haven’t loved playing bass this much since I can remember. I am trying to really get on the ball with my writing. I think it has been suffering tremendously. I’ll get all of this shit together. Word to your mother!!!!

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