Ye, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, because–well, that’s a deep subject, and a good question. I have just been feeling like I am on the right path lately. It may be the road less traveled but it is the right path for moi. I am at Temblor. I was supposed to be in a computer class at Adult Education with my sister Nancy, but she convinced me (or actually, I convinced her) to play hookey. She works full-time at an undisclosed location and also is a Real Estate Broker. Anyway, she fell on a cactus (don’t laugh, it is very painful, and her second time this happened) and her house flooded, which triggered her asthma. As if that wasn’t enough, as she awoke her tortoises from their winter hibernation, one of them didn’t revive. The one she had designated as Skids. So, I finally decided to just talk her into cutting class, though I really wanted to go.
She dropped me off at Temblor, which is where the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop meets every Tuesday. I don’t have my horn but I helped set up the PA so maybe I’ll get comped for a drink or two. Nathan played a solo on a breezy bossa nova tune. He is very young and the first few months he played he didn’t want to solo at all, but look at him go. Now James Brady is playing on his new Epiphone Guitar that he got from an online music store called Sweetwater in Indiana. Izzy Foster is playing trombone. Tony Rinaldi is playing flute instead of keys. A friend of his is playing the piano. Tony is multi talented. He is super good on the piano, and I’ve seen him play guitar as well. He is not as good on flute as he his on his main axe. I am kind of glad, because he is so talented it would make me sick if he was also a flute virtuoso. Really though I try not to get caught up in the drama. I am on the path and we are all at different points on the journey. Like, at the Open Mic, there are some performers who give others courage. Hey, at least I’m better than that guy. I should get up and try. Others inspire by their greatness. Hey, if I ever want to sound that good, I need to get started. Maybe he’ll play lead and make me sound good.
I interupt this reverie with a word from our sponsor. The Woodshredders (which is the name I have for the warm up band at Bakersfield Jazz Workshop) is playing “Here’s That Rainy Day” and truth be told it looks like it might rain before the day is through. I was just informed by our sponsor that there was not any room on the list for me, having just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in unannounced. Well, maybe next week. I wish I had a beer. I will go to the Arco Station and then drink it down by the river. Or maybe I will just wait until I get home and then buy one at the Day & Night Market. Now they are playing “How High the Moon” with Miguel on piano, Tony still on flute. Miguel is another overachiever who started here as a very young guitarist. Now he is playing guitar and bass, and alas, piano, all over town. He’s in a ton of different ensembles.
Next week I will play at the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop at Temblor and also at Dagny’s on Thursday Open Mic hosted by the lovely Lauren Appleton. I will be the one encouraging others to play. They will say to themselves, ‘hey, at least I’m better than that guy!’