Monthly Archives: May 2014

At The End of The Day

As I type this, the world is mourning the loss of the great Poet, Author, Civil Rights Leader and Medal of Freedom recipient, Mother Maya Angelou who lived every ounce of her 86 outstanding years. Simultaneously, I am personally mourning the sudden and unexpected death of my Uncle Heril Nelson, who in his 73 years made an indelible impact on my life, down to my adopting his ‘shaved head’ look. And, as incredible as it sounds, I am also sharing in the sudden loss of my 51 year old friend, Bob, whose 80 year old mother, upon hearing news of his death, collapsed and died of a broken heart two days later.

Perhaps you get the sense that I am in deep thought about the brevity of this life, the sudden, immediate and definite changes that can occur in the blink of an eye and most importantly, the necessity of making our days count, instead of merely counting our days.

The world will, no doubt, synchronize its tribute to this saintly woman who singlehandedly contributed so much soul into our multi-culture and caused us to appreciate her courtly wisdom and experience the triumph of her art. Bob, a self employed plumber, was honored by more than 500 people, some who stood out in the rain, in line, for more than two hours to pay honor to him and his family. Although Uncle Heril’s coming memorial may not garner such attention, those of us who will be in attendance will note how he wonderfully inspired and transformed our lives.

What about you?

You may live a long life or your own obituary (or mine) may be in the papers next week. At the end of the day, what contribution will you have made? What will those closest and dearest to you have to say?

Whether your Life & Art impacts millions from all walks of life on many continents or a handful of people gather inside a small church to weep and pray, will they be able to clearly recount that Your Impact, Your Influence, Your Impression, Smile, Quirks, Examples, Lessons and Legacy will continue on in their hearts and minds – and that they are willing to pass your Name & Countenance on to their children and beyond?

It’s not too late…

I was not listening to any music as I typed this – but my neighbor’s lawnmower was a bit distracting…

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The Fine Art of Disagreement

Every EntreMusician should seek the blessing of being surrounded by a team who frequently disagrees with them and with each other. Although every participant shares the same core goals, principles and values of the key leader, no one should feel threatened or afraid to speak up, sometimes vehemently in sharing their perspective and approach in solving an issue or launching / tweaking a product or service.

The Goal is ALWAYS “What’s Right” and NEVER “Who’s Right!” Any EntreMusician who wishes to stroke his or her ego is still living in the Big Haired 80’s. The quickest and easiest way to sink your own ship is to employ “Yes” Men and Women who applaud your every idea, no matter how boneheaded it is.

Great Companies, Ultra Successful People and Iconic Legends have all welcomed the advantages of the opposing view, especially when that view emerged from their own camp. To consider the other side of the equation strengthens your team, straightens your perspective and more firmly solidifies your structure.

Each contributor is actually creating a wonderful recipe. “Too Much Salt, Not Enough Sugar, Add More Milk, Shake It, Don’t Stir.”

Proper discord in perfect alliance brings the whole team on One Accord.

And That’s when the POWER Comes! Continue reading

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RESET!

Many Musicians suffer from “settlement” issues. In other words, they choose to stay in a rut (creatively, relationally or emotionally) rather than starting over and doing every single thing they can do to push toward their goal.

EntreMusicians are never afraid to push “Reset.” If something is not working within a given set of weeks (never months) they hasten to change the person, place or thing that’s impeding progress. Never in a mean, rude or maniacal way, but always with clear, decisive strokes, making sure the train rolls forward.

Whether it’s redoing your entire website, changing band personnel, a manager or studio. And Yes, we’re talking folk you may have been with for….Perhaps your set needs a realignment, but you’re settling for the same 21 cover tunes just to stay ‘working,’ PUSH RESET.

You only get one life and one time to live it. Why be stuck in a career that takes more than it gives, when you’re the one with your finger on the clicker. Do whatever it takes. Start over and over and over again until you are where you always knew you should be.

My beautiful wife was talking to me while I wrote this. Music to my ears!

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Roots

At the core, Music is far more than Notes & Melody. It flows beyond Harmony, Keys, Cadence & Stanzas. Music stands upon a firmer foundation than the structures of Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Refrain & Motif. The Blood of Music is the expression of one’s experience, approach, outlook, circumstance and roots.  

Guts, upbringing, personal discipline, bad decisions, heartbreak & happiness, love lost, found & misplaced can never be properly published. Every Musician will perform the piece differently, if perfectly. She will bring her heart. He will present his pain.

Style, Genre, Formats never tell the complete truth. They take us to the neighborhood but neglect providing the proper address. It is the root of the musician, buried deep within the soul, psyche and spirit that causes the wail of the saxophone, spit of the trumpet, dance of the fingers across the piano and maniacal excursion of sticks against skin. Who I Am sings louder, moans softer, breathes deeper than what’s printed on the score.

Be Comfortable at the most extreme level of your spirit. Explore. Let Us Hear YOU. Take Us All the Way There.

Within.

I am listening to the wonderful roots recorded on Robert Glasper’sDouble Booked” as I type this. I am reflecting upon my mother’s transition to heaven 6 years ago, and how we celebrated her life and bid her farewell today, May 1.

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