the power of the half note

i hate playing fast.   everyone who knows me musically is hip to that.  i guess i can hang, but i get so frustrated when i allow the speed of things to dictate what i'm doing. i often play insincere and artificial shit instead of meaningful lines, merely because i'm wanting to ... actually, i'm not sure what i'm wanting to do with the fast tempos.  am i making an artistic statement to which i want to be accountable?  i'll confess that i don't really work on playing fast.  i'm not sure i view it as a fault as much as something i just don't like doing.  call me stubborn, hypocritical.  i'd simply prefer to put my time into other musical outings that trip my trigger.

i love listening to the late charlie haden.  his solos are simple, melodic, and full of depth.  he smells the roses while waltzing through these chord changes.  as i write this, i'm listening to his duo effort with guitarist pat metheny.  it's rare to hear charlie tackle and burn on a fast tune.  the way he digs into mid-tempo songs feels like he's playing in half time, swapping out the quarter note with a half note - simply (and cleverly) changing the 4/4 meter to a 4/2 pulse.

i turned over another year yesterday.  bushwick bill's line "my mind is playing tricks on me" is a fitting caption for last year.  success as a parent, spouse, educator and artist is all subjective.  my manic, perfectionist perspective pollutes my self image while fueling my creative machine.  quite the cruel twist, but a battle i'm up for on the daily.  i'm working on gratitude, pumping the brakes on my self-induced tailspin so i can enjoy more of what i have and focus far less upon what i want (or better yet, what i think i'm supposed to want. THAT is the first taste to my demise.)  my jazz professor from undergrad used to preach the adage "the race is not to the swift", and i think it has finally resonated within me.  so for my 42nd spin, i'll be with charlie - digging on those half notes.