I’m bored and embarrassed with my musical groups. Time for a shift.
Periodically a musician needs to reassess their commitments and direction. For me that time has arrived. I’m bored of much of what I’ve been doing musically here in Toronto. Some preliminary thoughts and principles to guide deliberations.
1. No going back to relive past glories. I’ve changed, but the world has changed even more.
2. It must be congruent with my marriage and work. Not a time to screw this up.
3. If I’m not proud enough to invite my friends and clients, forget it.
4. It must make me stretch to make it a worthy use of the precious time I’ve got left on this planet.
This past summer I spent time in New Orleans studying Traditional Jazz with Gerald French which culminated with a performance in Preservation Hall. This was followed up with a trip to Poland to study mainstream jazz with Ali Jackson of Wynton Marsalis fame. We played at the Vertigo Jazz Club, a beautiful well attended old fashioned jazz supper club. The first group: old, second young. Both group of musicians could really play. It blew me away. I really had fun. It was an endorphin explosion. I haven’t had so much fun playing music since college 40 years ago. It has given me the confidence and desire to try some new things. So, what shall I try?
One of the most exciting musical weeks since college 40 years ago. Ali Jackson was inspiring, tough, and encouraging. And, the young musicians I played with challenged me to the limit. Playing with bassist Luques Curtis at Vertigo Jazz Club was a highlight. After hearing him play with us, my wife remarked, "Oh, that is what all the bass players are trying to do". My dignity is intact.
Poland was beautiful, sophisticated, and friendly.
The jazz scene in Europe is as robust as ever. Young musicians can actually aspire to be jazz musicians.
Lastly, it was very exciting to meet and play with so many Russian musicians. Who knew there was a thriving jazz scene in Moscow.
David Story: Professional pianist, drummer, composer, and educator. Well into his 5th enthusiastic musical decade, David works with adults pursuing musical dreams in the autumn of life, while he maintains an active presence in the Toronto arts scene.