For the last two days, I’ve been working on a session… a smooth jazz session. It’s been a blast. My first one, finally. I say finally because I studied jazz for many years, wrote my own jazz pieces, transcribed solos, even aspired to be a jazz artist to some degree, but never really went after it, nor had the outlet to seriously play any, especially in Nashville, TN. I love it though. I don’t go so far as to call myself a jazz musician necessarily, but I do understand it, the theory, and am not afraid of playing down a chart, nor improving a solo, whatever the key may be.
It was weird though. I felt like a kid again in many ways. Even though it’s not my album, it brought back those child like feelings I had for playing music. After 15 years of doing this professionally, 8 years being the owner of a professional CCM group, somewhere in Nashville, playing a random smooth jazz session, I’m pretty sure I had that twinkle came back in my eye. That’s what I thought it was always supposed to be like anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not stupid… I know when you’re running/owning a business, it’s gonna have it’s days that feel like they’re straight from hell, but for the first time, in a LONG time, I felt the pleasure I used to have for music again.
I’ve lived in the Contemporary Christian Music market for a while now, and you’d think that there would always be butterflies in your stomach and gooey feelings for peace and love 24/7, but that’s not the case. I enjoyed these last 2 days, musically speaking, more than I’ve enjoyed anything I’ve done in a while now.
Sometimes you study, you practice, and practice, and practice til you’re blue in the face. You read jazz theory books, study chord and scale relationships, jam with friends reading down the Real Books of Jazz, and wonder “why?”. I’m in CCM… in pop music, for most guitarist music theory goes as far as “What would U2′s ‘The Edge’ do?”. And that’s fine if that’s your little niche, but then there’s guys like me… studying the crap out of understanding it all, practicing your different scale modes, loving it, and being told “Ah, that’s cool but it’ll never make you any money.”, when I just recorded guitars for a young sax cat that’s touring on his own, making a much better living than most musicians in pop music.
After all these years of studying, most of my days have been spent feeling like I waste my time practicing and then this surprise session comes along. It was nice to have a few days to do music that in many ways fed my soul and made sense of all the practicing. Sometimes you just have to keep going and trust the Lord that those little things like wood shedding, homework, studying, praying, building up, tearing down, starting over, etc, will all come into good use someday… it just takes time, even if it is 2 short days out of eternity to help serve some jazz cat’s career.
Thanks Nathan, I, in a personal way, needed these 2 days more than you know friend… blessings to you as you venture out on faith.