“Play what you don’t hear, not what you hear.”
In 2008 I was at the Los Angeles Friendship Center with a group of members performing ‘Morning Gongyo’ Herbie Hancock happened to be there as he is often. After chanting some of us had coffee together I had the opportunity to have a chat with Herbie. Herbie was kind enough to encourage and guide me concerning my artistic goals. In response to my last question, Herbie leaned back and looked at me with a “What are you waiting on expression” he went on to say, “The Buddha within is waiting, just strive to always ‘create value’ in whatever you do.
With this wonderful exchange I commenced an adventure into a world I only dreamed of. Music production has always been an art I deeply appreciated. I remember the listening sessions I would be privileged to have with Bernard Ware, Legendary Jazz Bassist, ‘Wilbur Wares son and a ‘Brother’ in the real sense, during my early and recent years. My ‘Ear’ was already there and after reading a Miles Davis quote, “Play what’s not there, not what’s there’ I truly reflected on what this meant tho me in the adventure I was about to launch, (‘Evolution On The One’, by JazzIs – A Tribute to Miles Davis “Play what you don’t hear, not what you hear.” iTunes – Music). My love for Miles is borne from my experiences in life and his avant-garde reality. Both in his music and in his life philosophy.
Last night I watched the James Brown Movie ‘Get On Up’ with my wife Sandy. Quite frankly this Film has not received the recognition it deserves. Thought provoking and emotionally touching it revealed to me the interconnected rhythms that flow though the living beings in the world we now know.
Herbie’s ‘Mentor Disciple relationship with Miles has impressed me deeply, for his artistic expressions are reflective of the guidance he received as a student. Researching his mentorship with Miles as well as Wayne Shorter’s, has given me a unique insight which is based on our sharing of the same faith and Spiritual Mentor Mr. Daisaku Ikeda, President of the Soka Gakkai International.
In 2014 Herbie gave a series of lectures “Norton Lectures, which I hope all have the opportunity to study and learn from. Amazingly Herbie Hancock is the first Norton Black American Professor. Listen to Herbie on Miles.
I am inspired and souled by those of us who take chances and persevere in the pursuit of their visions and dreams. This undertaking, the creation of a site which has until now slipped through the minds of those who may have conceptualized it. yet took no action…Is now a reality. The foundation is always needed before you can enter the Penthouse.
I began my creative life many many lifetimes ago. This lifetime is one I will cherish for all eternity. For in this journey amongst the fine peoples of this world I have found my mission as a Human Being. To undertake your own personal ‘Human Revolution’ is indeed a courageous and bold endeavor. Art is very much reflective of this. Victor Hugo’s life story is the inspiration and roadmap I use in my creative pursuits.
I began my musical adventure in August of 2011 my initial interest was to produce my own Soundtrack for a Movie I’ve been chanting to produce for 30 years. Most people I know would not have dreamed that they would be listening to music produced by me in this lifetime. Simply because they have never realized the potential of groove existing in each and every one of us.
When I decided to take action and do what others consider impossible. My entire being was consumed in the worlds of realization and learning. So the first thing I did was buy the equipment necessary to build my studio. Once my studio was complete it lay barren of any creative activity for a year. It took me that long to develop the courage and will which, would be my rod and staff going forward. I started off learning Logic Pro and Protools..eventually leaning more towards Logic and using it exclusively in the production of my first Album ‘Evolution On The One’.
I have never made music before this Album, but I always knew that I could. Timing is everything in the pursuit of your mission and obviously..the time was ripe for me. So one day I decided to lay something down and begin writing and composing my music. It took me two years to complete this album. I went through tremendous emotional experiences which I know each of you have too. Each song has had a different affect on my life and I am deeply appreciative of the experiences felt. I would have never felt the joy of creating sounds that make others ‘feel’ had I not been born to explore, seek, and create.
The Movie which motivated my need to produce music is entitled ‘ZipAvenue’ and is the story of my life. I was deeply traumatized by my father’s death. At that time in 1965, there were very few resources available in the identification of the pain a child goes through when experiencing the death of a parent. My fathers death turned my world upside down. A few years earlier my father said to me “Son come walk with me to your Grandmas house. he took my hand and we started off. When we reached my mothers moms house we found my mother and grandmother sitting at the table drinking beer with a male neighbor who lived across the street from our house. My father smiled, took my hand and started back to our home….Eventually my mother left us and moved across the street with the neighbor. I was not aware of how deep that was at such a young age. Fast forward to my 16th year of life. I was becoming a man and realizing what it must feel like to know your wife is living directly across the street from you with another man. On December 29 1965 a 2:29 AM after we had been up, playing monopoly and bid whisk and enjoying the holiday season with family and friends.
I said to my Dad..Daddy i’m going to bed now so that I may wake up and go to my first Basketball practice since breaking my ankle. My father was laying down on the couch in front of the fireplace and raised up to ask me a question, one which was obviously on his mind. He said,”Son, do you want your mother back?” I said without any hesitation whatsoever. “Yeah Dad but, not if it means you have to leave. My Dad smiled at me and then died right then and there. You have no idea what that did to me and the choices I made after that death is the movie ‘ZipAvenue’.
I lived a contradictory lifestyle for the next 16 years filled with sex drugs and rock n roll from Michigan to Chicago to Los Angeles always working in the Film and Tv industry and also Pimping women… This is what a site like this provides for us in a culture that is deep and yet oh so profound…