the benchmark

i used to dread recording myself. that loathing sensation hasn't gone away. recording myself is an immediate reflection of what i sound like. do i play in time? do i play in tune? am i playing licks that i like? are they licks that others will think are impressive? how's my tongue/finger synchronization? what the hell is going on with my vibrato? should i have quoted that line? do i come across like i have listened to all the greats and have chosen a fusion of influences? this fucking paranoia makes me sick to my stomach and keeps me up at night (hence the 2:05 a.m. post)

most of my college kids (along with my private studio of talented high schoolers) are hung up on the way that they look. every morning they stare in the mirror in a lukewarm effort to wake up, review & revise their appearance as they get ready for school, double check themselves throughout the day during bathroom pit stops, catch their reflection in transit to another class, and rifle through a variety of outfits in preparation for their social statement that evening.

i frequently teach the concept of recording one's self. it serves the exact same purpose as the mirror does for our narcissistic selves (i realize that is a bit strong, but i really wanted to use that word). the world sees my bird's-nest hairdo from all angles, and the audience hears my sound in an acoustical 360 degree format. i'll attempt to fix those stray hairs or cleverly disguise my thinning dome, because i see the issue at hand. as painful as it may be, i can tweak things in my playing when i actually hear it as the listener does. and the pain - i'm sure that if i looked at my physical image as infrequently as i listened to my sound, it would be painful too.

at any rate - i've got a new recording out. If I Knew You Were Coming. check it out and tell me what you think. i am proud of it. i like the tunes, like the guys, and like my sound ok. and i'm comfortable with the idea of capturing this chunk of my life as it is, and moving forward.

here's a pic of what went down at the cd release concert. and rest assured, i lamented that shirt choice and wrestled with my hairdo all afternoon...