Finally…

.. focusing on sitting down and writing. May has been a spectacularly exciting and challenging month — the most prominent event was  my wife’s eye surgery. It seems barely two weeks transpired from the time her eye-doctor suggested she see a specialized ophthalmologist to the post-operative follow-up the next day after the procedure. While we both have preferred to not have to go through this, things could not have gone better — the surgeon actually came into the waiting room while removing her surgical mask, spotted me and came over and immediately said “High-five me!” Given the fact that the procedure was under the hour originally predicted and the doctor’s obvious jubilation I followed her direction. Then she says “I can’t believe how easily everything went — I was prepared, just in case, but everything lined up perfectly the first time.” My joy and relief were difficult to describe. With all of our local Buddhist members chanting for her I felt confident things would go well — an overjoyed doctor made the result even better.

Naturally, my wife is supposed to recuperate, which means sitting, resting, etc. Naturally, my wife rarely does this and the post-operative week was a tremendous challenge to get her to sit down and let me divide my time between her, my son’s education, my students and.. oh yeah, my career. It worked out for all of us.

Now, about the music: I wrapped up my season with Howard Miller & Friends this past Thursday playing an evening of Thelonious Monk tunes. We return in September to the Abington Presbyterian Church Parish Hall — I have planted a seed concerning taking this ‘on the road’ for educational settings. Howard is considering it….(!) Adrian Valosin (of Matt Richards Group fame)  stopped by and ignited a blazing Epistrophy for the 2nd set. My jazz duo with guitarist Tony Hughes proved even more rewarding the second time at  the Paris Wine Bar on Saturday — I matched his muscular tone on his classic Guild X500 with my own Hagstrom Swede (mid-70s) / Lab L3 combination and it worked splendidly. We even encouraged a young woman to return to playing the ‘cello. Interestingly, I played a solo private event on nylon-string guitar in the humid afternoon before the wine bar date. I was puzzled / pleased when the host asked if I could play ‘more rock’ — I responded with solo versions of Sunshine of Your Love, Smoke On The Water and a few others done my way, improv and all. It was a hit. (I guess you don’t get to hear Red House played on classical guitar much these days…) No, I didn’t sing….!

I’ll get on later with updates on the Montreal Jazz Fest, Summer NAMM, recordings and many other things (including the cost of faxing tax documents to Canadian governmental officials).

I must get back (Bach?) to practicing — yes, Bach.

Until next time,

Matt

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