Friday, August 12, 2011

Baby I Need Some Motivation

 Well, not that kind of motivation.

A few months ago, you all learned about my journey as a writer. Since then, my poetry has been heard at a few open mics and has received a fair amount of positive feedback. With the support of friends and fellow writers, new ideas that were once scarce, began to flourish. My confidence began to grow as I entered this new chapter in my life.

However, it is still a struggle for to produce. The time spent on perusing blogs and watching Law and Order marathons, could instead be used to write Broadway's next big tragicomedy. The only time I write is when I'm on the train and that is usually to avoid the crazy mothaf*ckas surrounding me. I am lacking discipline. I need a Catholic nun to strike me on the knuckles with a ruler when I'm downloading music when I could instead be writing.

Writing is not easy. It can be very lonely and at times, very aggravating. While working on something, I read it back to myself and think "God, this is terrible." Maybe my confidence is needed more during the writing process and not just when I have something finished. There is a lot I want to share with the word, hence this blog and my frequently updated facebook statuses. What a shame it would be for my talent to waste away by just a lack of motivation.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Watermelon Man

I know how bootleg it is for me to be two days late with Throwback Tuesdays but I haven't been home, and for that, I apologize. I hope this edition of my weekly series (if you will) will make up for it.

For the last few months, I've been really getting into jazz. I grew up with a good amount of jazz music and am already familiar with a fair share of artists. My Mom was a big fan of smooth jazz artists like Anita Baker, George Benson, and Sade, to name a few. My dad also enjoyed the easy listening music and would always tune into Newark, New Jersey's famed jazz station, 88.3 whenever driving or cooking. So while I always had an appreciation for it, I now am doing research about its history, its many transformations and the lives and journeys of jazz musicians.

One musician who has struck my interest is Herbie Hancock. I am still unfamiliar with his much of his work but when I first heard the song, 'Watermelon Man,' I was amazed.

Hancock is one of the last musicians to have written a well known jazz standard, a musical composition that is often remade and rerecorded, making is widely known to listeners. Many jazz enthusiasts shy away from jazz funk, but I love it and I love the funk influence, though faint, in this song. The version above was Hancock's second recording of 'Watermelon Man," the first version was actually more traditional. I like both.

One of my favorite Latin artists, Afro-Cuban percussionists Mongo Santamaria, created his own version during the same year as Hancock's first recording in 1962. I could be mistaken, but I'm sure that will this is certainly latin jazz, the beat is a cha-cha beat. Whatever it is, it's also funky and fresh.

So here it guys! Throwback Tuesdays on CPT time. I hope you all enjoy.
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