Lately I've been leaning towards the idea that we all could think about the MESSAGE we carry to the audience in general. And to the people we gig with. From the "mere community band" to those paid, professional ensembles and "A" type clubs. Putting ourselves into our music in other words.
It was a life changing experience when I heard about my new girlfriend's late trumpet playing boyfriend. She and I started going together a couple weeks back and her former beau died almost a year to the day. Wrote about it recently (somewhere here) if anyone remembers...
His surviving girl and I went to his grave stone last Sunday on the anniversary of his death. This poor cat died way too young. Younger even than me as he was about 50 years old and I'm almost 57. Never put anything ahead of his music. He bused dishes and other menial jobs when not playing clubs, bar mitzvahs, graduations, casuals and Real Book type jam sessions.
THAT'S ALL THAT POOR CAT DID!. Poured his heart out and into his horn upon leaving high school in 1978 and up to the day he died. I'm not exactly sure what conclusion or life lesson is here to be learned. But it probably isn't about how high he played (cat had some serious lead/screech chops btw). Heck Pat Hessions will always have the best chops if not perhaps my favorite player (sorry Pat). So that's not that all that important.
It's about being the artist.
(deceased cat's name withheld out of respect for the family)