listen to the doctor

“There are no wrong notes;
just the note that you follow with.”
— What Gordon Sumner says Kenny Kirkland taught him

I forgot to mention to Mo before we got married that I love jazz. Or at least I loved it in my sordid past, until I was beaten down by the unrelenting drumbeat of pop music and industrial hip-hop country bluegrass hardcore thrash.

I find myself turning to jazz more and more as the unpredictable spontaneity serves as an alternative to the painfully predictable chaos going on in the world. Mo seems to be OK with it, other than subtle mentions like “I hate you. Talk to me lawyer.” Women are difficult to decipher sometimes.

Which brings us to Kenny Kirkland. He was a jazz pianist that nobody much noticed. He earned the nickname “The Doctor,” because Wynton Marsalis would go to him when he needed advice on chord changes or technical stuff.

Funny, because I have a round of doctors this week, trying to learn what’s going on. And on a deserted sidewalk strolling in the heat, the doctor passes along the best advice you could possibly have. There are no wrong notes. It’s all about the note you follow with.

16:30. It’s not wrong, it’s just there, and that’s OK. But what do I follow it with? I suppose more of the same for now, relentless forward progress, even if it means going backward. One note at a time.

He died young, as jazz musicians are wont to do. But he left behind one album, a legacy that’s just now getting around to being honored, and some pretty terrific advice.

On that note, tomorrow is another day. Thanks, Mr. Kirkland.

3 miles
chap soccer, 10 a.m., 90
49:23 (16:25, 124)
16:17, 16:30, 16:28
143, 0.69, 2.8, v34

About gary

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