Drum Lesson

I once made the mistake of making a suggestion to a master musician about what I observed while they played. Learned right then it is best not to pose a guess hiding in an observation. What I said was: “Wow, when you play the daf, your fingers are so independent!”He looked up and replied: “No, they’re quite coordinated.”This wasn’t a small point even if ‘finger independence’ is one way to describe the crucial feature, coordination. I’m sure the master understood what I was trying to say. Here’s Raquy Danziger, proving the point.

Slider Nikki Brown


Many lap players make a fetish to a minor degree of the vintage, brand, stature, of their guitar. Some player collectors have tens of instruments. I don’t like to see the photos of galleries of lap steels hanging on a wall where they cannot receive some active love. Nikki, on the other hand, is stormin’ on this video using a $100 Chinese-made short scale guitar.

Just For Now

My musobro Jamie sent me the link to this video by Imogen Heap. Fantastic. Jamie is my oldest musical compadre. He turned me on to Moby Grape and Marcel Duchamp in 1969 and followed up with a zillion more pointers. He’s a musician, producer, artist, writer, actor, wild man. You’ll be hearing more about the Ham Bone.

Imogen Heap now gains my attention.

Bizness Time

I really like the silly HBO show The Flight of The Conchords. It’s about how slack and ambition combine in the unlikely pairing of wannabee soulmen Bret and Jemaine. In the storyline they move to New York and get nowhere yet, evidently, their muse can’t help herself. The droll folk-soul they create and drop into verite videos litters the show and subverts the sit-com conventions. The series itself caps off four years of pomo foolery since the Conchords have a real comedic career launched first in the duo’s native New Zealand and boosted by the BBC.

Play Something Sweet

Make this land a better land
In the world in which we live
And help each man be a better man
With the kindness that you give–Yes We Can

Allen Toussaint

My soul bro Jamie dropped me an email reminding me today is Allen Toussaint‘s birthday. I’m not sentimental about birthdays, even to the extent of being careless. Nor do I track the birthdays of the hundreds of musicians I favor. Yet, the reminder got me to thinking and reflecting upon Mr. Toussaint. This same friend some 26 years ago turned me onto this giant of American music when he dropped the diamond on a Meters record produced by Toussaint. If I remember that day provided a party package of ‘awlins funk as he kept skipped to his stacks and brought me my first taste of Chris Kenner, and Lee Dorsey, and Fats Domino.

So it started.My softest spot remains for Allen Toussaint. Of course he’s basically the king of the entire N.O. crew. I think the only way you can account for a 50+ year career that, for example, reached yet another high musical spot with his record made for Verve Forecast in 2006, The River In Reverse, is that Allen Toussaint is a genius. Life, Love and Faith (Reprise 1972) is an all-time favorite Toussaint record.