Friday, February 3, 2012

R-E-S-P-E-C-T plus the whippersnappers

Hey folks,
I just wanted to talk about the issue of Jazz and respect. I was reminded of this recently when an individual was being quite disrespectful of a pioneering musician, and I felt I had to say something. On the other hand, when I hear someone do something I think is great, I try to let them know. There's a lot of hard work and sometimes few rewards doing this, so I feel it's crucial that we support each other.

I have to say too, on the positive side, that I have a very good relationship with most of the younger drummers in town. By younger, I mean anyone more than 15 years younger, which actually isn't super young anymore. :( By a good relationship, I don't mean they kowtow toward me or anything, just that they've shown they're very serious about the music.
I've mentioned Ethan Ardelli and Fab Ragnalli before, but there's also people like Sly Juhas, Riley O'Connor, Larnell Lewis, Morgan Childs, and Adam Bowman as well as bunch I can't recall this minute, who are playing beautiful drums in the Toronto area. 3 of these people studied with me, and I mention this just because it gave me an opportunity to see them in their more formative stage. What's interesting is that the 3 drummers weren't necessarily the hottest players in their class or had a ton of stuff together. What they all did have, however, was a certain glint in their eye. You could tell with all of them that they loved to play, that they needed to express themselves through the drums. I also had students that, although they could do a lot of things on the drums, I could tell it didn't necessarily mean that much to them, and a few of them don't play anymore. I think that desire is really important, probably the most essential thing in becoming a musician, because it will help you through all the crap we have to put up with sometimes.
I have said this before, but when I started I wasn't even the best drummer on my block, but my love for music and my stubborn tenacity kept me going all this time. In fact, I would count the 2 aforementioned qualities as the only "natural" musical qualities I was born with. Everything else I've had to work on (with great joy generally, mind you.)

So, if someone's doing something great, tell them you dig it. If someone's not respecting musician. well, they should know that too.

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