Having made a new year's resolution to post more frequently here is a short email response I wrote to the double bassist listserv (2xbass) today at hearing a sad response to the passing of Freddie.
from Don, a fine bassist living in Oklahoma.
"This is too sad." link
As an older musician I don't feel sad when I hear of the passing of
the great jazz musicians. Death is just the next location on the tour,
the next hotel you need to check into, you might get to play with
others who have left that earthly scene and gone to that heavenly jam
session or great gig in the sky. It's easier to handle this way rather
than thinking it's completely nothing at all. I believe that Freddie
is still playing, writing tunes, putting new albums together, it's
just for a different audience now.
It's like seeing a dark, unknown location-hotel on the end of the tour
sheet and you'll never exactly what-where it is till you get there.
You just have to maintain a positive attitude, do what you do, play
the way you play, and hope for the best, like maybe playing on Scott
LaFaro's bass before the accident, or playing "Cherokee" with Bud
Powell, which happens to be playing on my stereo at this moment. I
don't know if I would ever have chops, musical scope, and
bass-validity to play with Bill Evans.
I realize that jazzers may live a little harder life than classical
performers - they are likely to play a gig for short bread, or not get
paid at all - but they have sacrificed to contribute to the art -
which is fantastic for us listeners. We all will meet the same fate,
just have to be ready for it - which is the hard part. That's where
SS, 403b, 401k, IRAs, Roth, Keogh et.al. help meet that change in
RE; jazzer vs classical, short bread and such -
Guess I count myself lucky to have played in a decent symphony for 17
years, making 403b and Social Security contributions. I'm also lucky
to have worked in the "straight world" making at twice what I did in
the symphony (IBM and others).
If you hear of a jazzer having to work a day job never think less
of his dedication to the art. He (she) simply is taking care of
business and still making time to work on the art. We all work towards the art in different ways and capacities.
end of response.
Happy New Year to all. May the new year have frequent times and dedicated thought processes devoted to jazz, especially Bill Evans.
Don't forget to check Jan Steven's great web site, the Bill Evans Web Pages for the latest Bill news and features.
Bill Evans Trivia Question:
Which tune, or tunes, did Bill "doubletime the changes" to, other than his own "Blue In Green" when performing? Respond to firstname.lastname@example.org.