Sunday, June 14, 2009

Boarding way, away from the curb

6.14 San Carlos. Left Santa Cruz pretty early. While waiting I took a shot of the sign at the bus stop which I assume advises not to skateboard here unless you're gonna grind the curb; "no boarding away from curb." I crossed the mountains on the Hiway 17 bus. It was still before noon when I caught the Caltrain to San C. It was a really rowdy car. Several large young guys got on with a 12 pack of Bud Lite for each guy. They handed out beers and started in to getting hammered. One guy was yelling so loud into his cell phone that even with my fingers plugged into my ears, he was still too loud. He told, or maybe bragged to the conductor as he showed his ticket, that he had been on the very train that hit and killed some guy a while back. I thought "he probably threw himself in front of the train to get away from your cell yelling mouth."

Saw PK, L, and the kids. Played basketball in the cul de sac. With one ball which was slippery I couldn't hit. With the other, more grippy, I could shoot respectably. 10-year-old CK hit many, many buckets. a friendly, family basketball game in PK's family is always going to mean serious effort. I tried to pace myself but I think I made a few too many jumps, or quick, stabbing defensive moves, and by dinnertime my left thigh was sore.

Went to PK's band rehearsal last night and talked about music a lot. He has this important gig in LA coming up, a competition of bands, and he said he was nervous. I said that when playing rock it was ok to be tense but when playing jazz you have to be relaxed. In fact, you have to force yourself to relax. He said Oh great, one of the songs has a jazz bossa groove. I said, yep, you gotta make a big effort to relax. I guess that's a contradiction, the idea of making an effort to relax, or forced relaxation. But it's true because to get the feel of jazz or to make it swing, the playing cant be tense. It wont sound right. Also to play fast you have to be very slow and relaxed in the hands and wrists, and probably in the mind as well, another contradiction.

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