Fly Like a Bird. THE Bird.
God, I love those guys.
Truth: Despite all my preaching, I studied jazz in college and, a short time after I graduated, I stopped playing because I felt like I wasn’t really all that good at jazz anyway (despite Dad and Auntie Janice’s constant encouragement) and certainly I was not as good as Dave, Tom, Mark, and Michael. Real people. (I only dated two of them.) So then I eventually switched over to Irish music, because it was a far more approachable way to use all those arpeggios that I had spent hours inverting backward and forwards for four years in a mostly soundproof practice room.
So now my work buds are making me wonder... who freaking cares, right? And I’m revisiting my Charlie Parker and Lennie Niehaus, and reminding myself it’s ok to be reading it from a book. And, I’m thinking about memorizing as much of the Omnibook as I can, so I can get some new shapes under my fingers. And you know… I’ll never play like Charlie Parker, never mind Geoff from West Point, Lori from Norton, or Lenny from Marblehead, God rest his late-blooming soul.
But, I love making music and I love pretending I’m actually improvising these transcribed solos, and by memorizing notated versions of what Charlie Parker created spontaneously in his brilliant, galaxy-changing head, I’m getting inside of what he was saying and—you know what—it's effing brilliant.
Will I share a video of me playing "Blues for Alice"? With great trepidation, maybe. If I do, it will be imperfect. And that has to be ok. Isn’t that what we’re talking about here? We're all doing the best we can. Maybe I'll post it in my pajamas — or maybe the tracksuit I wore yesterday because I slept in it. And possibly the same hairdo I've had for days because maybe I don't really give a rats about my hair. And an admission that when I walked downstairs to the music room last night, I said, "Let’s see how I do playing 'Blues for Alice,' the tune I’ve been working on for a few days, after a martini."
And I got to like bar 31 when I realized I was playing "Confirmation."