Month: January, 2015


Aretha Franklin came for dinner again.

This was the second time I sat holding in my pee for the better part of two hours and played while she ate.

I bowed r-e-s-p-e-c-t-fully when she entered and again as she left.

Wordlessly, she gave the briefest nods of acknowledgement.

I still have my job so I must have given at the very least, a decent performance.

At times like this, the only saving grace I have is the amount of time I’ve dedicated to practicing and the years of experience from working my craft.

I can’t change who I am on the spot.

I can’t magically have a brand new repertoire.

The only thing I can do is have confidence and conviction in what I know.

That I am in the right place at the right time, equipped with not just a little bit, but the perfect amount of everything I need to physically, spiritually, and emotionally succeed.





The North American International Auto Show has been hosted in Detroit for well over a century.

This week during press previews, industry previews and the big charity preview finale, visitors from all over the world are dining out downtown with their translators.

One night, a South American businessman silently formulates his question and then haltingly asks for The Girl from Ipanema.

I play this song all the time with the trio but for some reason never on my own solo sets.

So I have to open iReal Pro on my iPhone and pull up the lead sheet to help me get started.

With confidence, I start playing, only to be met with a look of confusion on his face.

“Is it the right song?” I ask.

“It is,” he replies, “but I wonder if I take that music you have home with me, can a musician from my country play it also?”

I tell him yes, of course, because it’s nice to know that some things like love and hope, as they pass, each time they pass, require neither explanation nor translation.


In the gym, density training is defined as performing the maximum amount of work within a set amount of time. In my mind, I’m not counting reps, I’m making each rep count.

Similarly, when I plan a 45 minute set list, I try include a variety of music from different genres making each song count towards creating a larger complete concept.

I thought about these two things when I attended the memorial service of my late partner’s mother this week.

I am blessed to be counted in as rich and as wonderful a life as she lead.

And in her memory, I’m going to keeping making things count.




Two birthdays ago, all I wanted was a really good burger. So that’s what I got cooked medium, loaded with bacon, mushrooms, Swiss cheese, caramelized onions and a fried egg. Chocolate shake and fries on the side.


I promptly vomited when I was done with my last bite and was sick for a few days afterwards.


On hindsight, I realized that since I had been eating pretty clean, my body just couldn’t process that kind of food anymore, certainly, not in that amount.


I have not had any beef since.


The smell of it made me instantly nauseous.


Until yesterday.


When I craved a bloody, rare steak. With eggs over easy. And grits. Everything doused in A1 sauce.


So that’s what I ordered up at my local diner, deliciously devouring every bite leaving only the sad garnish of wilted lettuce and watery tomato slice.


As the New Year begins, I also resolve to confront more hang-ups, more fears, more negative attitudes.


Because this meal was not only tasty, it completely fit my fitness program and all the macronutrient breakdowns within it.


There’s no more beef about having beef.