Wednesday, June 28, 2017


I'll begin with my 'good excuse' for not doing my weekly blog...the weekly essay that I promised myself I would do. I've been ill with a summer cold (cop out?) home sick, feeling feverish and crappy...holding up on my couch coughing with a book, a cup of tea and my herbs.

Home-sick /hom,sik/ adjective experiencing a longing for one's home during a period of absence from it. synonyms: yearning for home, feeling nostalgic, pining; feeling estranged, alienated; lonely, unhappy, sad.

Maybe I'm a bit of that kind of homesick too. When I wrote "home sick" I asked myself
"what is home to me anyways?"
Since George has been living in LA part time my home feels less "homey" for sure. Especially when you're under the weather and  (I must admit)  it is so lovely to have someone bring you that cup of tea and give you a little sweet sympathy for looking so pitiful.  So I guess I am yearning for that complete sense of home a bit....but no regrets...we are on an adventure and I'm in.  No looking back at this point! The up side of the miles between us is that I tend to sit with my music more often, which is a good thing.

The last few weeks have been productive as far as writing see how wonderful writing is?  I wrote that sentence and realized that I should never use my relationships as a logical excuse for not being productive! That's a cop out. There's that word again:

Cop-out  / noun / Kåp-aüt / 1.) an excuse or means of copping out: pretext 2.) informal / avoid doing something one ought to do.
Use of the term began in the early 1900's after the publishing of The Fortune Hunter by Joseph Vance "He simply can't fail to cop out the best-looking girl with the biggest bank-roll in town" / based on one of the many standard English senses of "cop"- to snatch, steal or grab.
In the '50's to cop-out evolved to refer to making a full confession...from this it moved on to mean backing down or surrendering. In the 60's it developed still further to suggest a person was making excuses or taking the easy way out.

Thank you Merriam Webster.

Here is a small sample of last weeks work. Some lyrics to a tune I wrote which we will debut at the Elephant Room on Friday, July 21st
I'll be singing with a group of dear old friends and I look forward to it!
Peggy Stern on piano, John Fremgen double bass, Scott Laningham drums and John Mills woodwinds.

Always Only You

Going back
Remember me
Close your eyes
Tell me what you see
Feels like not long ago
A fire burned so
It could be seen from a distance
Now like the ash 
From an inferno spent
Delicate so light 
It takes flight
on a breeze recalling
Loves heat
But the truth is I still fall to my knees
When I think of the past don't you know who I see

Only You
Always only you
Everything I do
When I feel the wind
On my face
It's you I feel like a grace
I feel you moving right through me
Here you reside 
In every part of what is me
I know distance and time
Are a lie I choose not to see
Here is my kiss for the ghost of your lips
And your spice on the air follows me everywhere

Only you
Only you

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Observing outside and in.

On a flight from Austin to Charlotte
On board, there was a young man two rows sons doppelgånger, if my son had an alternate reality as a young attorney...not the artist that he is.
Same square features...honest focused eyes framed by hip Warby Parkers.
But this doppelgånger was donned in expensive suit...shiny shoes...with brown leather satchel.
Catching myself staring at him, I looked away not wanting to seem weird....thinking: "I'll tell him if I run into him at Starbucks on layover that he has a double in my son."

Walking to the next gate. Charlotte to Buffalo...I kept stride behind three guys who looked like they'd be my friends...guitar over shoulder...sax case at side...third guy most likely a drummer.
I asked sax guy: 
"what kind of music do you play?"
"Oh yah? Cool! I'm a jazz singer based in Austin."
A more familiar smile broke. "Oh wow! We're with Dede Bridgewater!"
I thought he probably said "blues" because "jazz" is a dirty word.
"Dede! No kidding!!"
Now they all smiled. We were in the same club. I was some middle aged white lady in the Charlotte airport who knew Dede Bridgewater's music. 
"Have a great gig!"
"Thanks!  Yah! You too!"


O.K. Here's my gate.
Buffalo boards in 33 minutes. My imagination or do these folks look like Buffalo? Not so much Austin...or New York.
Dude...large with gimme cap and Hooters Aruba T...elderly woman Buffalo Bills sweatshirt. gold shiny sneakers, thick rimmed glasses, brown dyed hair.
I'm being judgmental...mental me.
I love Buffalo.
Find my way to my seat. 23 D.
A skinny toothless smelly man
and nervous goth teen daughter are trying to find 23 E & F
The flight attendant seemed annoyed with both of them trying to help them find their seats.
He finally settles to me...teen at window seat.
"Shit that stewardess cops some attitude. Over book these flights. Shit. Them seats in back is open. Shit"  He says under his breath...not to me or to anyone in particular, but to the air.
Trying to smooth testy flight attendant vibe floating about the cabin I say: "Yah. I noticed. Maybe she's having a bad day."
I offered my iPhone charger to nervous daughter who was at 4 percent on her device... now we are friends.
At first they both looked so rough, but now I the skinny toothless comfort to nervous goth daughter...calming fear of flying...a gentle care for her...and I am touched.

Now I'm sitting...reflecting on last Saturday's wonderful festival. Lulufest was beautiful, and I feel so inspired about making this happen annually in Austin. So happy to be creating something musically important with Peggy Stern and sharing the stage with artists like Ingrid Jensen, Helen Sung, Albanie Falletta, Susanna Sharpe and so many other spectacular artists...both men and women.
Here are some images from the day:

Master Class Students 
with clinic leaders, Suzi Stern, Helen Sung, Masumi Jones, 
Peggy Stern, Joey Colarusso and Ingrid Jensen

Ingrid Jensen Quartet
with Jon Wiken, Daniel Durham and Peggy Stern

Helen Sung Trio with Boris Kozlov and Darryl Green

Ingrid Jensen

Students performing at Master Class

Helen Sung giving feedback at Master Class

Albanie Falletta