November 2014

nteresting and troubling times we are living in. Whacked out weather patterns are hitting us in the face, suggesting that climate change is very real and upon us.

Anything having to do with people of color, be it immigration reform, unreasonable treatment of people of color by the police, and basically anything a president of color does is being condemned by the right, amplified and distorted by the media.

The right is consistently perpetuating lies for their own political gain, be it the myth that the XL pipeline project would somehow create permanent  jobs, and lowering taxes for the wealthy and corporations would somehow create more jobs and help the non existent middle class.

Same shit, different day.  We as a country are being duped at a ridiculous rate. Sad.

To be a great musician one must “zoom out” and be a part of the big picture when playing in an ensemble. The primary focus is on the greater whole. Only be doing this does a significant band sound emerge. If people of the world could only grasp this way of looking at things, we would be much better off.

On a brighter note,  I’ve recently read three great books. The first is the Herbie Hancock memoir called “Possibilities”. Herbie’s comments on music and life are so very inspiring. He is a true scientist of music, art, and the human condition. That inquisitive spirit that is so prevalent in everything Herbie does is truly amazing.  It was so fascinating to hear him recount the years with Miles and doing his own recordings. I grew up on this music, saw Herbie play with most of his own bands, and in 1974 did a double bill with the Headhunters and Deodato. My first gig of any consequence was with Deodato. We did a week’s worth of concerts with the Headhunters. I got to hang with these great musicians and hear history being made every night.

I’ve actually read two books on diet. The first ,by Joel Fuhrman, called “Eat to Live”, advocates a primarily plant based diet, where the protein source is vegetables, beans, and tofu. He has you stay away from foods with “empty calories”.His thinking is that you eat nourishing foods that don’t add calories for no compelling reason. Made good sense to me. I lost about 10 pounds on this diet, and found that I had lots more energy.

The second book,  “It Starts With Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, advocates a similar approach, which essentially is to eat foods that effectively nourish the body while also preventing inflammation, which, in their way of thinking, is the cause of most diseases. Unlike the Fuhrman book, this one claims that animal protein (meat, fish, eggs) is perfectly healthy in moderation, and if eaten with lots of vegetables and no pasta, rice, or starchy stuff, is a great way to eat.

I believe one should do lots of research on diet and try different things.

In my case, I’ve incorporated the concepts from the two books, have lost another 5 pounds, and feel even better!  Do your homework! Get your diet together, develop a daily exercise routine, and say goodbye to chronic disease and unnecessary doctor visits. Tell your health insurance company to kiss your ass. And, oh yeah, eating this way can be very gratifying and tasty once you realize you don’t need bread, pasta and rice with every meal.

I’m writing this blurb from Tokyo, Japan. The breakfasts over here are fantastic. They serve lots of fresh vegetables, fish, meat, fruit, and generally healthy stuff. Happening! You don’t see very many overweight people here. Guess why!

Mixing the R and B big band project now. Wow! The cats really threw down!!!  Will Kennedy and  Will Lee with Russ Ferrante and Ray Obiedo and the NY horn cats lit this music on fire! My wife was dancing all over the concert hall during the performances! Good sign!   The cd should be out in the spring.

That’s all for now. Do your homework!

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