When I First Came to New York

The phrase, “When I first came to New York,” means something special in the jazz world. It’s difficult to read an autobiography, watch a documentary, or find an interview, that doesn’t contain these words. It’s a subtle divider amongst jazz musicians; either you’ve done your time in the city, or you haven’t. It feels like a loaded statement, one that is treated as matter of fact by the musicians who utter it. Why is this string of words such an intimidating phrase to those jazz musicians who haven’t lived there? FEAR. It’s the fear of failure. This fear grows as…

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Proposition and Introduction

The midwestern United States provide excellent terrain for personal revelations. Family road trips are a part of our culture, and since there’s not much to look at out here, we can get into those deep, life changing discussions. It was a trip such as this, just before a Thanksgiving get together, driving through northern Minnesota, when Suzanne asked me, “What do you think about marriage?” and I replied, “Well, I’d like to be married to you.” One thing led to another, and we decided to get married. Heading home to Minneapolis last December, after visiting family in Lincoln, Nebraska, my…

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