Thank you for continuing to receive this newsletter - or -
Welcome! (select the appropriate greeting, choose only one -
oh, all right, take them both if you want). I'm delighted to
share my (continuing) adventures with you, and especially so
that you're willing to listen (read). Don't neglect to surf
through the website improvements. Now, about this month...
|Jazz Performances and Piano Entertainment Concerts
For those of you who follow the schedule and come out
to the "gigs", thank you. My friends David and Phyllis
faithfully come to "commune" with Bruce and I on Tuesday
nights. I look forward to that, as I would look forward
to seeing you sometime. Each month brings a variety of
events, two I will highlight: first - anything with Bryan
Clark (we're "back in business" at Dover Downs, not only
this month, but in months to come. In the coming weeks,
I will extend the performance schedule beyond the current
month so you can look, and plan ahead). Also, my first
solo concert at the Mainstay in Rock Hall, Md. on Sat.
3/18 at 8pm. Click on the Mainstay Concerts link (in the
"Quick Links" section below). You might smile at their
publicity on this. I'm hopeful for a good showing (turnout)
for that concert, so as to get off on the "right foot"
with this new (for me) venue. It is a ticketed concert,
and reservations are always recommended there (it is a
charming and intimate venue, and often sells out in advance).
I'm back there in April for their Dixieland festival,
so stay tuned...
|Church Sponsored and Christian Music Concerts
February's event was a "He's Steppin' Out" with Brian
Whitaker. I am continually impressed how good he is at
this. Church sponsored concerts are "dark" this month,
and resume in April with both morning worship services
of the Hagerstown (Md) Church of the Nazarene on April
8th. Stay tuned to upcoming website schedule updates for
events down the road, including trips to Florida and South
I'm having fun with this. It hasn't been without it's
challenges, and glitches (like this past Thursday when
the radio station failed to receive - or lost - the show,
and rebroadcast the previous week's program), nonetheless,
I'm pleased overall. The archive is growing, and Max is
innovative (as always) in handling the growing library.
There are three ways to hear the show: 1 - Tune your radio
to 1360AM on Thursday evenings from 9-9 :30 pm (in the
Southern New Jersey/Philadelphia area). 2 - Listen to
the WNJC live Internet stream at that same time. A link
is provided on the front page of my website. 3 - Visit
the radio archive/vault on my website (click on the microphone)
for convenient access to all shows previously aired (new
shows will usually be posted within 24hrs of airing).
I welcome your feedback. Hope you enjoy the show.
|From the Weblog
On Friday, I had a (solo) recording session that I feel
good about. This is uncharacteristic of my recording history,
but likely (I'm being optimistic) the direction I am moving.
When I am finding (even if for brief periods) my "zone"
(something I have been self- consciously working on for
some time), even in the studio, I can't be but pleased.
Of course, it could be better, but this is where I'm learning.
I'm understanding now that my goal, as a performer, has
been the sustained depth - or - to play at a consistent
level. Of course, I know (even if I don't accept it) that
this isn't me. I've often told people that I feel a certain
kinship with Mike Schmidt (home run leader and gold glove
third baseman for the Phillies in the 1980's). He could
hit multiple home runs one day and then go 0 for 20, or
could make a phenomenal fielding play one inning, then
in the next field a routine ground ball, but fail to throw
out the runner at first because he "threw" the ball behind
his back (I saw this happen while at a ball game)! Not
that I really feel that I hit (or play) multiple home
runs, or make phenomenal fielding plays, but rather that
I am prone to inconsistency. I understand some of the
reason for it (and I also know that some of what I am
aware of, others are less so), but I'd never accepted
it. Listening to my session later, at home; hearing me
find the depth, have a "brain fart", and then attempt
a recovery, I finally got it : This is me, and it's okay
(as a concept). I can continue to improve, and lessen
the occurrence - which is happening - of the "perpetual
fog" (my Friend Alan Dale calls it "being constipated"),
which is a problem. When I am "fog-free", however, and
still have that little spot or two in a tune where my
attention span breaks, or I am playing disjointed (even
if only I am aware of it), I can stop being ashamed of
myself; trying to create an ideal rather than accept what
is. Dick Durham (local jazz pianist who has become a friend)
uses a quote in his publicity written of him in the Phila.
Inquirer in 1965(!): "Dick Durham creates a jazz that
is". Now I understand: more than anything, my goal is
to be authentic - something that is. Posted by Joe Holt
| Sunday, November 20, 2005 (reflections during the recording
of "Playing By Heart")
It's finally here! Really! In hand! Okay, I think you
get it (I picked up the CDs at the manufacturer on Feb
22). Thank you to all who pre-release ordered "Playing
By Heart - Always", and not only for your order, but also
for your patience (if you ordered this CD pre-release
and have yet to receive it, please advise me) . It's a
funny thing (or perhaps a silly thing) that, for all the
recording I've done, I've had no CD that represents the
bulk of what I do (solo jazz piano), until now. One challenge
has always been to find a workable recording studio situation
where a good piano is available (when I recorded "Hymn
and Christian Song Improvisations"; my other solo piano
CD, my friend Chris Webb brought his recording equipment
to the church I attended at the time, and we recorded
in the sanctuary). This is always important, but never
more so (for me) when recording solo. It is repeatedly
shown to me that when it is the right time for the provision,
it comes. Some months ago, facilitated by Sue Matthews,
I made the acquaintance of Dick Durham. Dick is a long
established and respected jazz pianist, living in the
next town from me. He has recorded several albums in his
home studio, and was willing to accommodate me (not his
usual practice) at my request to use his facility and
services. He would "fire up" the equipment then exit the
room, leaving me on my own, but he was always listening.
We would stop every few takes for him to "touch up" the
piano tuning, and give me feedback (unsolicited, but welcome).
I will remain grateful to Dick for his assistance and
support (at multiple levels), and all will enjoy the sound
of his fine piano. Many have been patient in waiting for
this project. I, certainly, have been the most impatient.
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire
comes, it is a tree of life"