Alive in the Vibes and Peace Charlie Haden

Yesterday, the ISB sent a note of sadness and condolence regarding Charlie Haden.

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Charlie is a bassist with whom I’ve identified for so many years.  His collaboration, specifically with Keith Jarrett, occurred at a moment in time, around 1974 (+ 40 years ago) when I had to make a decision:  To be a bassist or a husband and father?  That was the question.  I chose the latter at that time, thinking, “Why else did I marry?”  Love makes you do strange things!

Fourteen years ago, I again had the choice before me as a widower, and I play as often as possible.  Thus, it is that upon being informed of Charlie’s death I again listened to the work done that was so inspirational around 1974.

Fort YAWUH is a recording  that rings my bell at so many levels, both for Keith’s piano playing  — including all of the other guys playing with him — and, or course,  Charlie Haden.

Find and listen to Fort Yawuh.  I’ve got the vinyl, but I’ll not take time to load it.  Last night I listened again.  YouTube has a version (poor sound quality, but definitely worth the audition).  I highly recommend it.

Rest and be Alive in the Vibes, Charlie.  They’re all good.

 

Inomorata!

Today, I was able to listen to Live-Evil in its entirety. What an experience and time it was when Miles and the team made and left those vibes.  I wrote to a friend (who inspired me to listen to Miles, again):

The struggle of being with the muse is the challenge to listen.  As you know, in this contemporary technology driven society, there are too-so many distractions and interruptions to our mental desire and need to listen.  Even the clatter and chatter of thought in my mind distracts me from effectively listening.

Music presents an opportunity to re-visit the future, and remove the illusion of time and space.  There is no mystery that time passes so quickly in the musically altered state of consciousness. ‘There be Tomorrow.’  Yesterday and today, the dance of the Musigans was and is.

Life’s Answer

If you’ve come this far on my server, you’ll find another post.  This is actually not the first one I’ve done.  I’m the “admin”.  Do not be in awe. Anyone can do this.  You don’t need an ISP (Internet Service Provider) to publish on the WWW.  Did I mention it doesn’t cost anything?  Life is good.  I’ll log in under my userid in a bit.  But, for the moment, I’ll not bother wasting time with that.  Now, let’s get on with what’s on my mind.

It’s Father’s Day.  Actually, I think Father’s Day is Mother’s Day is Birthday and Every Day!

I know life only comes from life.  Here’s the Alpha and Omega:  the question is, Where does life come from?   Life!  End of belief. End of sermon. End of philosophy. End of debate.  As for the Why? the answer (not the question) is:  TO BE OR NOT TO BE!  

Thanks William … I needed that!

This is NOT my first BLOG!

I’ve been writing a long time.  Fortunately, much of what i published on the Internet and WWW has been obliterated by obscurity due to Google, and others, collecting mounds of data.  Mine is like do-do buried in, literally, tons of data-do-do.

For what it’s worth, here’s recent stuff that’s already been done running my personal WordPress.  Enjoy:

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Freedom.  A friend who’s try to “learn” how to improvise is also a computer expert.  She recommended I “optimize” my website (this computer that sits in a bedroom) for higher ranking on search engines.  I really don’t  care about such, but for fun I did.  Now, my ranking is much worse than it originally was.  To me, that’s hilarious.

I did some exploring on Google and discovered Charlie Channel is actually a chameleon (cha·me·le·on)charlie-channel

A Value Added Reseller (VAR) mascot.   I also found out that a television station has, apparently, attempted to trademark my name “Charlie Channel.”  The Internet, WWW and capitalism.  You know, there’s something very strange about it all.

The good news is that NOBODY can prevent me from being who and what I actually l am.  Now, that’s a vibe they’ll have to deal with — the law be damned!


 …

Transparent Transcendence. Yesterday I got a late call for a rehearsal and Donte eventually showed up to watch the Magic do their magic.  And, afterwards, he spoke about music.  The subject got to the audience, as it must.  The gist of what we both believe:

The evaporation of barrier between audience and musician, when everyone becomes musician and musician becomes the audience within the context of external time, but within the reality of timelessness — fueled by rhythm, is the essence of musical transcendence.  Jazz is the so-called genre where transcendence occurs spontaneously, improvised.

In that state, the passage of external time becomes what it is — illusory.  Words like, “It’s not over, is it?!?!?!” or, “I can’t believe an hour passed by … what time is it, again?” might be heard when that state is achieved.  As musicians, we’ve experienced it. As audience, we experience it noted in applause and cries of “More …”  In popular music, DANCE is the first step in participation.

A musician is gifted with the privilege and/or ability always and at all times to be the vehicle for that transcendency. That — TRANSPARENT TRANSCENDENCE — is the “true” purpose for existing, and that is what true music evokes.


June 6

Aabaraki … Viallobos Brothers … back to BK:

Music crosses and can destroy the barriers of ignorance, stupidity and hate to free humanity from irrational and divisive and abusive absurdities.


June 5

I don’t know why I need to put the year on the page.

The Internet and WWW have changed music and musicians.  At this stage of the game, I realize that for most musicians’ (those who simply love to play), work has devolved into covering what has been done.  At the core is playing in bars, clubs and restaurants, playing the stuff that’s been sold, absorbed and expected by the public.  You know, a “gig.”

Why work so damned hard to master techniques and find the notes, to be relegated to regurgitating what’s obviously been done so damned good that whomever did it already made the “record?”

By “record” I mean record.  The Masters who have come before me, and who — undoubtedly — will come after me have made NOT JUST RECORDINGS.  They’ve made RECORDS!  Something that has never been done before.  Since there is nothing “new” under the Sun, How can that statement be reconciled with reality?  Nothing, including stuff made by robots, is ever exactly the same.  So, a recording of any music made is a “record” from that perspective, i.e., unique.  In reality nobody has every done it and did it the way it’s being recorded.  And, no person will ever to it exactly-precisely the way it had been done. Yet, there is something that enables me (and you) to know that an extraordinary uniqueness defines a real record.

An analogy:  How high did he jump?  She jumped higher, and set the “record.”  That’s what I’m trying to say.

At this moment, I’m marveling over the technique of the bassists who played with Oscar Peterson, including Ray Brown, NHOP, Dave Young, and on that subject (technique) to mention Stanley Clarke, Dave Holland, Jiri Slavik, Ranaud Garcia-Fons, Victor Wooten, Michael Klinghoffer, Gary Karr,  Rufus Reed, Mark Dresser, Ratzo B. Harris, Mungus (Oh …  Hell!  Check out the International Society of Bassists for a start) and whomever has made the kind “record” I’m talking about.

People ask me who may favorites bassist is.  How can I answer that question?  My answer, in all truth, is whomever is playing on the recording.  So, Jimmy Blanton is on the list and whomever is on the lips of those members of the International Society of Bassists .  But, when I hear a solo piano performance … well Chic and Herbie and Keith … not only are they great bassists, but drummers, too.

What’s going on here?

How wonderful to be alive when those muses are  present in my own space-time.  How wonderful and awesome to be in this domain when technology has captured the outworking of spirits, for my perception and inspiration.

There’s more to this reality than simply making a recording.  Perhaps, it’s really about getting close enough to that spiritual space to set a RECORD in the doing, assuming  I can make a recording of having “made it.”

The economics (gigs) of sustaining access to muse, sharing it and recording the efforts changed, as a specialization in the industrial age migrates to the Information Age —  the Internet and WWW.  And, of course, it has affected the economics, public participation and the extent of sharing.

The answer might be that each individual is more greatly empowered to use mind to explore, discover and spread the Muse.  Music is, after all, life.  And, on that note:  those who have set the records are here for my inspiration, more than imitation — imitation being the cause of inspiration.  In other words:  Notes are over rated. Key is irrelevant. Technique is often useless. A song is an excuse to make music, copyright and recording be damned.


 

June 4, 2014

I attended the 40th anniversary of my graduation from UCLA Law School last weekend.  The event was the first reunion I’d attended, ever!  Not that many people attended the event from my 1974 graduating class.

The only thing that got me through law school, and enabled me to continue being who and what I am, is music.  I’d pick up an instrument, practice almost every night/morning (since I’d finish studying literally ‘around midnight’ every night and sometimes night-capping 420) while in law school.

I am so happy I’m on this path, the Avenue of the Muse.  But, I’m thankful my education permitted me to support having a family, although I regretted not being able to pursue the Muse for so many years. I know, now, that there are different roads that lead to the same place.  It’s just a matter of time.

Long live good vibes.  And, of course, the bass vibes are the long waves!


 

May 28, 2014. End of Work Day @ 4:43 p

I’ve done the math (well I did it before but decided to publish it):

Assume the Cost of Living:

  • $48,000/year  =  if you perform 128 gigs paying $ 30.25 each month.
  • Otherwise:
    • 64 = $ 60.50 or
    • 32 = $125 or
    • 16 = $250 or
    • 8 = $500 or
    • 4 = $1,000 or
    • 2 = $2,000 or
    • 1 = $4,000 per month!

So, i was called for a paid rehearsal and i’m talking to a trumpet player who, it turns out, said he did the calculation long ago.  He’s got a BA in music, done several CD’s under a major label and was executive producer (meaning he put up all the $’s).

‘Yea,’ sez he, ‘I did the one time a month thing once in my entire career (spanning a couple of decades).  I sold 1,000 CD’s in bulk.’

Sigh.  It’s a hard business.  Young muses must do the math, but they don’t.  How many musicians, or groups of musicians, does a local economy support?


 

May 28, 2014.

I was around 5 years old … I’m not really sure of my age … living in the Projects with family.  My father, Charlie Estus Ezell Channel, Sr., worked at Moore’s Dry Dock in Oakland.

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One day my Dad announced, ‘We’re going to see T-Bone Walker.  T-Bone’s my second cousin and he’s famous.  We’re all going to the dance.’  He was excited.  Mom, too.  There was commotions of excitement at a level I’d never seen before.

I did not want to go.  First, it was going where I’d never, consciously, gone before for what purpose I did not know.  Dance?

I didn’t come into the World knowing much.  Maybe, I’d made it out the door, down the street and around the corner. There were drunks and winos out there, around the corner by the stores.  Generally, I didn’t have any problems with them.

There was one guy with no legs who rolled around on a dolly.  He could jump the curbs with that thing. There was also a midget in the neighborhood. There was one extremely bad dog on the block.  He’d bark ferociously.   Worse, he’d bite whenever he got loose.  And, he did.  He got one of my playmates, Johnny, real bad.

All that paled in the face of The Terror … the guy who could turn his eyelids inside out, so that all you saw when you saw eyes were reddish pink apparent eyes, as he laughed  … spraying and shooting laser blast fear into the soul of any and every kid on the street.  We’d scream, cry and run as fast as we could … anywhere, any way and every and any time he was encountered.

I felt it best to avoid the unknown “Dance” wherever we were going by any means necessary.  As best I could tell, it was something like church. I’d made it to church, and didn’t relish that experience, either.  And, of course when I had to go to church the last straw holding back my anxiety was grooming, which made my stomach turn and made me feel nauseous.

The day of the dance and despite my tantrum (which didn’t work) my Mom jammed me into it. That meant  suit, tie and shoes. I was made to dress in the Sunday clothes, again turning my stomach.

When we arrived, my father introduced me and T-Bone introduced me to the band.  My father told him that I was playing the piano pretty good.

I thought that would be the end of the matter, as I didn’t really know anything other than we were going to a dance show of some kind.  But, no!  The next thing I knew, the show was about to begin and they put me on stage in a chair, sort of on the side, where I could just hang out and hear and see the band. But, everyone in the audience could, also see me.

I didn’t know if they expected me to do something, like dance.  I’d danced before, but I didn’t know if it would be appropriate for me to get up and do my moves.  I could already do that thing James Brown eventually showed the world …  moving my feet in inverted “V’s” and moving my body in whatever direction I desired.

I made eye contact with a couple of the sax players and one of the guys he’s introduced me too gave me a wink. I patted my foot and generally really dug T-Bone’s moves.   So, I just sat there and dug the show and the other guys got busy playing. Everyone was smiling back at me and giving me a nod.  But, as the music got hotter and T-Bone got going they got in the Muse zone, too.t-bone2

As for T-Bone, he was really doing it, and I was enthralled and happy that I hadn’t gotten up to boogie because he had that move plus more than I’d ever seen before.

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Watching the entire act and grooving with the musicians, and being somewhat self-conscious that everyone was looking in my direction, it was a little uncomfortable.  But, soon that was forgotten.  Folks in the audience got up and started dancing and shouting and the party was on!

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Jazz on the Tube just had a T-Bone Walker Day.  And, I just sat down to watch the video.  Even before I picked up the mouse and began to select the presentation, I thought:  “Man, if I remember correct, his hair will be Konked and slicked back.

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I was there … I was on stage with him and them.  As I looked at his features, and think about my Father’s, it’s fairly obvious that we were related.

There is one final memory.  The music and party had to stop.  It had to stop, because the time the hall had been rented expired.  I recall a feeling of not wanting the party to stop, as I was on the dance floor with the rest of the audience by that time.  And, then, afterwards I was longing to go back home, to 714 Center Street, Oakland, CA. to the Projects where we lived, as my Father and Mother and others lingered, as long as they could.

Years ago, there was a big family reunion.  From Slavery onward we are the Jackson, McMichael,  Young,  Walker and Channel families.   We’re a big clan, no doubt about it!  You’d never believe how many cousins I’ve got – or their so-called race or nationalities.  I was, apparently, conceived from some ecstasy moment that must have been very good.

[My father always said T-Bone was a cousin, and clearly told me that he was a second or third cousin, but not by blood. The family names of my family descendants are the Channel’s, Hall’s Jackson, Walker’s and the Young’s.  Metta Walker likely had children and more likely is the grandmother or sister of the grandmother of T-Bone, who had a son named Rance {T-Bone’s father}. August 9 – 11, 2002, a substantial number of the family of Silas and Margaret re-unioned in Texarkana, Texas and I attended. There are more than 200+ in the kin I belong to.  Thus “We Well Never Run Out of Kinfolks.”]


 

May 7, 2014.

Capture-Crissy

The Crissy Field Broadcast:  Crissy Broadcast Final Report

Stepping Out.  Last year, after Jazz Camp West, I began following articles posted on the NewMusicBox.com website.  Ratzo B. Harris.  (Jazz Camp West faculty last year) was shaking things up publishing articles about Jazz and the masters who have contributed to making American music.  There’s a lot going on.  And, I discovered an opportunity to participate in a rather major music happening in San Francisco involving the San Francisco Symphony Community of Music Makers.   The “happening” was a first opportunity to do serious music in the Neo-classical genre under the vision of a world-class composer, arranger and conductor(s).   Select the link (above) to get the full story.  More about Lisa the FireStarter.

 


 

 

 

 

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