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It's been a year or two since I have actually sat down in "rant mode"... during the last couple of years in Washington state, I used this space to post "live reviews" of shows 'round the magikal land of OlyWa... while I may do a bit of that for the 2-4 years I reside in Korea (my last tour, by the way... after this time, I expect we will truly retire to Olympia for the duration), the opportunities will be much more limited, as getting in/out of Seoul (where most of the shows would be) is truly a nightmare scene. Ergo, you can expect to read a few rants over the next couple of years.
One thing I anticipate doing (after the next 3-4 months) is hooking my studio gear back up and doing a bit of collaboration through the mails.... when we spent from '86-'95 in Taegu, I produced just over 60 tapes with folks from the "old tape underground". Now that things are all digital, and once my studio is hooked back up again, I'll probably go on a mad dash and hook up with some of the players I used to play with (as well as new folks, of course) to get some of my musical ideas down in digits. Of course, much of that is dependent on the "madman from the North" - Kim Il Sung (or his son, if he's appointed as his successor). They have been trying to penetrate South Korean waters, and it's impossible to tell what they will do. Some folks have chastised me a bit for coming back this way, because of the potential dangers - but when you stop to think about things... it could (& often is) be just as dangerous anywhere in the U.S., with drive-bys, bad attitudes and the ever increasing emphasis on being "politically correct" - which is bound to make folks "go postal" over a period of time. "PC" is a death-inducing attitude, and I have no truck with folks who practice it. Ah, I digress... surely a symptom of a mind that's getting "older"... ha! ha!
What I can tell you about South Korea is that despite the danger in the air, it is still a land full of natural people, great food and beauty that surrounds you. I was here (with my wife, most of the time) for 15 years the first time, from '79 - '95... we spent 15 years away in various and sundry locales... & now that we're back, it's entirely possible that (if the whole globe doesn't blow up) we may spend another 15 years here, just to make the cycles complete. Let's see, that would mean I wouldn't be coming back until I was 78, right? Ha! Ha! That would be just about the right timing, according to a drunk fortune-teller we had in our house back during the previous 15-year cycle... he told my wife that I would live until my '90's... so - 78+15 = 93... hmmmm... what do you think?
My last note will be to say that I've got a LOT of review material in over the 2 1/2 months we've been in transition, so I'm not going to run out of music to write about... also, I've been exploring sites like REVERBNATION, kind of "prospecting" for fresh new artists... & MAN, have I uncovered a mother lode... just in the last month and a half, nearly 350 players/bands have signed up as fans. Once they "fan" me, I listen to their tracks... those who meet my review criteria of "high energy" get a song posted on my FB page for IMPROVIJAZZATION NATION, and if I REALLY dig what they're playing, I invite them to send me review material. If you're reading this and you're an artist, try that.... it's a great way of networking and spreading the word! More in the next issue!
Till next time....
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