Saw Ahmad Jamal at the Blue Note NY last night

I went backstage and said hi – every time I see him, I get really inspired.  He’s a true original.  He just recorded his first album in 3 years, and it was on a French label.  America is fairly dead for jazz, has been for a long time.  But that’s cool – although mass media has had a huge effect on the US population, perhaps limiting narrowing their aesthetic scope, people should consume what they want to consume.  Besides, most jazz kind of sucks anyway.  But that 3% that’s good is REALLY good.  And I think it’s the same spread for any other genre as well: Classical, country, rap, r&b, rock, bluegrass, whatever.  90% doesn’t really help, 10% is good and worth checking out, and that top 3% is MAGIC.

I’m especially honored because Mr. Jamal really liked my Travis Shook Plays Kurt Weill album.  He particularly loved the cello arrangement I did on “Lost in the Stars” (he’s mentioned it a couple times to me) and in general he complimented my arranging skills.  It’s a great honor when one of my all-time heroes likes what I do, it’s the kind of thing that keeps me going.