Thursday, June 06, 2002

I'm getting ready for work and I happen by Boingboing for the first time in weeks [thanks to Bag & Baggage for reminding me of those guys as well as linking to me...] and saw this perfect link about a NYC 'higher education' Learning Annex. Some dorks would say this is an easy task . Just ask' How much'. DISCLAIMER!! But that would be a sick, reckless, stupid, disrespectful thing to say to any woman [or man] not only of Asian descent but on the planet earth.

Now let me put the situation in context...there are 98% working girls at some places I perform at. Do not talk to or even nod in their direction because these women will automatically think it's hook-up time. My next installment will relate my own experience of innocently saying hello to the clientel...[If I don't explain this before the end of the day, Jeneane will be sure to telepathically have my nuts crushed!] Talk to you in about six hours...

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Okay, so I was typing and accidentally pressed the escape button and destroyed my entire blog for the day...I betcha Jeneane doesn't have problems like this when she writes... or does she? She can type, talk, reprimand, and a bunch of other stuff at the same time! I don't know how she does it. Being away from her always helps me to appreciate her more and more. And now my biggest fear is staring me in the face. Jealousy has always been a factor with me. I've tried to keep her to myself for so long and now everyone else knows the kind of wonderful woman she is. The secrets out. But, really, I've been nurturing this very intense woman telling her not to be afraid to roar like the lion that she is. She even has a mane like a lion. That was one of the attributes that caught my eye when I first saw her. My very first thought when I saw her was ' That girl is hurting. She looks likeshe is going through some kind of anguish'. Then she sat with her friend to watch our band perform. She looked at with a look of ' Boy, I know what you're thinking and I can read every thought in your pea brain. You ain't nothin...' She tells me years later that she was looking at me with love in her eyes. You figure this one out. I've met my match. Thank goodness! I starting to get tired of the typical bar room harlot with one thing on her mind; Fullfill my physical needs then get out of my sight preferably before daylight so I can go back to being an independant woman on my own as... if you didn't help me through my loneliness in this cruel world for a night.. fucking cowards...but I digress...Ex-wife- did you read that you jive, useless, STILL self serving wench...

Sorry about that. I've been drinknig scotch tonight, trying to get through another night playing to other scotch indulgers [sp? forgive me Mary]. Playing some lame ass shit tunes half of the time. The other times we tread close to greatness...or maybe it's the scotch...

Tuesday, June 04, 2002


Ok guys, I'm really going to post from here. Jeneane Sessum has posted one of my non-sensical meanderings to make me look at this page and write something. It's been rough adjusting to a different culture at first but I'm finally doing it. Hopefuly I'll remember how to use this blogging machine thingy as far as writing html. I'm due to start performing in an hour. Another night; Whores playing for whores. I'll explain what I mean by that to the uninitiated tomorrow...

Monday, June 03, 2002


There’s no mystique to improvising. Schools and teachers build whole classes and make a lot of money turning improvisation into something akin to voodoo. In reality, anyone with musicality can learn to improvise.

Improvisation Tips

Find one note in the song and keep applying it. You’ll probably find four notes in the whole song that will work. Now look at the scale and find the common tone. You’ll find one note that will work with every chord change. You might find two.

Next, build a parody of the melody off that note. In improvisation, we make up a new melody every time we play through the chord changes. In the first chorus, you play every chorus of your solo, and you play very close to the melody. In the second chorus, you take off on the first chorus and go a little further. By the third chorus, it’s established. The audience has absorbed the melody; they have heard the improvisation of the melody, and now you can take it further out.

African musicians do it this way—the original first, then in the middle of the song they play a parody—to have fun—a take off that’s way out, and then they come back to play rest of tune. Of course, you don’t need to bring it back in. Let the next soloist suffer. Dr. Billy Taylor explained it to me this way.

An Exercise

Play the melody of a song you know.

Goof around with it a little bit. Omit measures and let the time go by. Understand about phrasing and space. It’s usually what you don’t say that matters when you’re improvising.

Keep practicing that until you’re secure about hearing the chord changes without the melody. And that is the key—to hear those chord changes and memorize those without actually playing the song, and adding to it.

More to come when I’m back in the states.

Live (almost) from Hong Kong, - George