Joe Holt's Notes Newsletter Vol 3 No 1
January 2007

Happy New Year!

This marks the beginning of year three of newsletters. Wow! Looking over the archive, and reading the original letter (Jan '05), it appears that we've come a long way. In fact, I believe that. For one thing, I can type faster. I started out at about 30 words/hour, and I've at least doubled that. Much more importantly, I believe that I am on a called path and that doors and windows are opening up for me. I wish for you this sense of purpose and trusting in this new year. Now about this month...

in this issue
  • Featured on the Radio Show
  • Jazz Performances and Concerts
  • Church Sponsored Concerts
  • Radio News
  • Recording News
  • From the Journal

  • Jazz Performances and Concerts

    2007 will see growth, and change. With the exception of Midiri Brothers performances, the emphasis begins the shifting to (but not exclusively) solo piano concerts. That doesn't mean other things aren't going (or will continue to go) on. This month finds me with Veesa, the Midiri Brothers, Bryan Clark, and back at Sullivan's. Check out the schedule...

    Church Sponsored Concerts

    2007 kicks off with a concert in my "home" church. On Sunday the 14th, I will present a program at the Newark (De) First Church of the Nazarene. This will inaugurate "Do You Hear What I Hear" as my year- round theme for these events. Keep checking back with the schedule for other church events now pending.

    Radio News

    This month will complete my first year of "Joe Holt's Notes on the Radio". Many thanks to Max Murray for as smooth running a radio archive as I could ever imagine, and to Rob Hilty for dedication "above and beyond" in helping put the show together each week. In 2007, we are continuing the show format in which I open with a "live - in studio" performance. Requests are welcome. Tune in on Thursday nights from 9-9:30pm (eastern time), or listen from the archive anytime. Then, drop me an e- mail, and keep in touch.

    Recording News

    2006 was certainly a productive year. 3 new releases on my label, and 5 new releases on which I appear on other artist's/label's recordings! This year is the time to "focus the laser beam" on that which will take "Joe Holt's Notes" to (hopefully) that next level (whatever that means). All of my planned projects (so far) involve the expansion of the Joe Holt's Notes label with, primarily, solo recordings continuing in the "spirit" of 'Do You Hear What I Hear". I'm grateful for the good reception given to this latest effort (check out my journal for an interesting review by Peter Howell). Now it's time to "get to work". I'll let you know how it's going.

    From the Journal

    Back when I was 17 or so (mid-late 1970's) my trumpet (no comments please) teacher asked me if I had ever heard Art Tatum. When I responded no, he sternly "advised" me that if I had any thought of being a jazz pianist, I had to deal with Art Tatum. Dutifully I proceeded to the record store and bought the LP; "Piano Starts Here", that included his first (solo) professional recordings from 1933. After I picked my jaw up off of the floor, I concluded that my whole musical pursuit was now pointless, and I purposed not to play the piano anymore. It lasted a week (my response was not unique, among others, Oscar Peterson claimed not to have played for a month after his initial encounter). I often state that artistic growth and spiritual growth (as I understand it) are the same in essence; including the increasing realization of how "small" we are in relation to that which we have become aware. This encounter was one of those growth opportunities. Since that event, I have settled in, increasingly aware of great players, and where I fit in (in terms of my own contribution). Working in my little "corner of the room", I can deal with (and, most importantly, learn from) those who are, were, and will remain, way "beyond" me. Fast forward to now. It has happened again, but this time (hopefully standing in a more mature place), I am humbled not to shrug, or to despair or disinterest, but to wonder. It's not that I've never heard Keith Jarrett before, but perhaps that I am now ready to. I watch other (great) players perform now, and sometimes see a "see what I can do" display. With KJ it is a connection, and never a contrivance. And, more so than any time previous, the fact that I don't (academically) understand much of it, doesn't stop me from "getting" it. "Concepts create idols. Only wonder understands" - Gregory of Nyssa posted by Joe Holt at Saturday, December 09, 2006

    Featured on the Radio Show

    This month we are highlighting my first solo piano jazz and popular standards CD: "Playing By Heart - Always". This recording is still (slightly) less than a year old, but an appropriate document of where I stood then. As my playing "evolves" (this is, or should be, always the case), this documentation remains. True to form, the conceptual thrust of this instrumental recording (over multiple, short sessions at Dick Durham's home studio), only fully showed itself upon completion. At that point, when "Playing By Heart" appeared among a list of title suggestions from Ned Bustard ("World's End Images" - my graphic designer). It immediately wagged it's tail and bit me! I added the "Always" as a subtitle (the song title which I may play as many as 8 times a day in my work as a music therapist with seniors), and knew that it was the appropriate statement. This CD has been well received (even if, at least for now, overshadowed by "Do You Hear What I Hear"). The "warm fuzzies" await (I don't know if you'll really find that true, but it sounds nice):

    See the CD
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