"When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses." ~John F. Kennedy
"The goal of learning is to become capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done. Three phases of development must be mastered. The first is the COGNITIVE or 'post hoc' phase. You understand you want to do something, and you see the path ahead of you. This is the trial and error phase. The second phase is called ASSOCIATIVE or 'ad hoc.' You achieve awareness in the moment. The simple aspects of the new skill appear fluent and polished, but the more complicated aspects demand concentration. The third phase is the AUTONAMOUS or 'pre hoc' phase. You've learned the skill so well that you can perform it consistently, fluidly and in an aesthetically pleasing manner. The motor programs involved are stored in the long-term memory so the mind is free to invent something new. The secret? You must pass through phases one and two to get to three." ~Jean Piaget
"Mastery is attainable through SHU-HA-RI. SHU means to learn, to obey the teacher and to protect the fundamental forms. HA is to detach, to forget the self, and to become one with your practice. RI means to leave home, to separate from the master, and to forge a new way. RI is the way of transcendence, the way of nature. Forms are left behind and only spirit remains. You are probably not yet ready for RI." ~Morihei Ueshiba
"There are three stages to learning jazz: first, you have to study how the masters did it. Second, you practice until you're so comfortable with the tradition that you make it your own. Only then are you ready for the final stage: forgetting what you've learned and finding your own voice. IMITATION, ASSIMILATION, INNOVATION. Always in that order. And be patient, because you'll spend most of your life working on step two." ~Art Farmer
"I think we have to do our part. It may sound 'socialist,' but I do think it's important, if you are lucky enough to largely benefit from what you are given, to share the wealth. You should spread it around." ~Don Cheadle discusses the Not on Our Watch Project
The other day Christopher Orr [dreading this year's Oscars] wrote, "Even amid cosmic injustice we must be afforded glimmers of hope."
Here's a glimmer from 1998 which still gleams:
12 years ago today our Recording Academy awarded the Grammy for best jazz instrumental solo to trumpeters Nick Payton & Doc Cheatham, two of my favorite artists, for their tasty rendering of Hoagy Carmichael's masterpiece "Stardust."
It was one of those rare moments that occurs all too seldom in life, when excellence shines through and the universe nods in accord. Amazingly, the mind-numbing pop culture-drunk music industry briefly woke up, remembered its calling, and cast a collective vote for quality.
For a short while that year, music behaved like the meritocracy we all wish it could be.
We all voted for this record, but whenever I listen to it, I secretly believe it was created just for me.
Mine, like my big wheel or my slice of Key Lime Pie!
Photo by Hal Leonard
This entire album is a keeper, but I especially dig their treatments of "Stardust," "The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise" and "Jeepers Creepers."