Like so many others, I feel I owe you big time. Seeing you on TV in the '70s on the 'Shabazz' tour demonstrated that freedom and discipline in exactly the right balance was essential to the serious art of playing jazz - and that footage led me to so many great records.
As a keyboardist, I devoured what Milcho and all your fantastic sidemen were playing in relation to your rhythm innovations - it taught me a whole new approach to playing time, things I could never have remotely imagined. I have closely followed your career from then on - an ongoing education in fine, adventurous music.
When my daughter Eartha started taking singing seriously, her first gig was with Asere at Bristol Colston Hall - right after attending a songwriting week with them (which certainly knocked my first gig for six!)
A Billy-on thanks to you, Mr BC - long may you reign!
In the early '80s there was a tune on one of your recordings that I would listen to over and over in college. It began with the sound of an airplane lifting off, and went into some furious straight-ahead swing about mid-way through. I can't remember the title, unfortunately, but I sure remember the feelings of exhiliration I felt every time I listened to it.
Also, I dug your candor in that JazzTimes blindfold test.
I'm host of Jazz it Up!, which my colleague George Moorer wrote you about a few days ago. Please let us know when you'll be playing in the NY area.
My first jazz/drummer Album I've bought, back when we kinda got allowances (Mom's way of keeping some money in a Teens pocket), was yours late 70's. Now, I've created and produce a jazz show, Jazz it Up! We've had legendary drummer Roy Haynes. Featured Carl Allen on the show. ..and this season we will have Chico Hamilton and Lewis Nash. I would luv to catch up with you when you're in NY.
Take a look at Jazz it Up!
Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."
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