Wow...what a week!
Had a crazy week that felt like a month last week. We had violinist, Mark Feldman (He gave me a pack of cigarettes and he had my favorite quote from the week "It's like when you go to a violin recital and the player sounds like Jack Benny" Ouch!!) , pianist, Sylvie Courvoisier, and pianist, Art Lande @ CalArts teaching workshops on improvisation. Also on the weekend was Wadada Leo Smiths Creative Music Festival @ The Redcat with The Art Ensemble of Chicago. If that wasn't enough, the NAMM show was in town as well. NAMM is a music equipment rtrade show with lots of rock stars, wanna-be rock stars, and excellent musicians all under one roof. A sampling of who I saw, was Stevie Wonder, Sting, my old teacher Jeff Berlin, Jonas Hellborg, Scott Henderson, the guitarists of Slipknot and Dragonforce, and a bunch of posers. I also saw some old friends like recording engineer Marty Beal. One things for sure, NAMM has nothing to do with music just gear. Now, Jonas Hellborg I actually talked to about classical Indian music for about 20 minutes and he was very nice. I was a little star struck and he wanted me to show him some Indian Tala I had learned, while he was making coffee at the Warwick booth (the makers of his new amp and bass guitar), but I declined. I have become interested in his music the last couple of years because he really gets the Indian thing and incorporates it really well with Western musical ideas. I asked him how he incorporated it so fast into his playing and it was nice to know that it has taken him 25 years to get where he is at with the Indian stuff. There's still hope! I also played in George McMullen's recital on Sunday. We played music to Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times" and an opus for Dr. Martin Luther King that was very touching.