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Music Mind themes

September 17, 2015

I am glad to report that the MUSIC MIND book, that I have had on a slow burner for so long , is finally taking shape. The consultant/writer/trombonist Rick Maurer is helping it along. It will be out next year.

I thought I’ll use this blog to carve out the themes of the book in brief posts, to collect some feedback, especially from musicians. The book itself is written with the idea that listeners and players alike will be addressed.

Listening and playing are actually inseparable. When we really listen, we actually play. Ornette called it “Dancing in your head”. And its not just the head: our whole being goes into “play mode”. From there it is just another step to decide to actually play: dance, sing or pick up an instrument. The intensity of listening, really listening, needs to remain when we play. When we play without listening, then there is very little communication. Its more like a virtuoso display. That form of communication is very short-lived. It is a “wow” effect and then it is gone. For music that is truly remembered, the players need to take breaks to listen intensely to the details of the moment, which are different every time; just as the listener needs these breaks to “play”, to intuitively respond. This is a big Music MInd theme, with lots of angles to be discussed and practiced.

So I will now, in retrospect as well as down the road, mark all those blog entries with an “MM” that deal with Music Mind themes. And, again, I am looking for feedback, as we are writing this first Music Mind book.

Thanks. You may, of course, communicate via email: or

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