Used to drive on the left and faster than the pack but experience altered me. Now the slow lane, no guarantee but better odds for longevity. Hard to not play fast when you know how to play fast, it often impresses everyone, except maybe you. Sitting with Jonnie Bakan yesterday discussing his thesis about cafe culture and Harlem and how politics and music intersect and that other more important school he graduated from, Freddie Stone school. He directed me towards spicey books I now need to eat: Adorno, Attali, Denning. Left music school in the 80s because of how much money I owed from having a student loan and what to do with my relationship to the piano. There is no substantial audience for what I’m drawn to do, freely improvised music, might as well pack it in rethink what to do with life and then I met John Oswald. Sometimes you have imaginary ideas about someone when you meet them. He hosted a jam session of improvisers in the back room of the Cameron and invited me to come. I agreed but internally imagined he wouldn’t be up to my speed. Turns out I was the inferior one. Lucky about Blue Rodeo but luckier to befriend John. Those years I played with him every Saturday afternoon I could, often just us. Loved our molecules smashing round the space while trying to keep up, the free draft beer from Herb, Handsome Ned painting bandanas in the other room, an audience of maybe 2 people and other guest musicians. Changed my driving, golden lessons.

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