Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra over Valentine's weekend, and looking ahead to March 22 when I will perform in Virginia with the Williamsburg Symphonia, I am ever so grateful for the career path I have found. This morning during my prayer time I was faced with a decision--to record a new jazz album while on tour in April or to put it off for another several months, a year, or more? The frequent traveling and touring with constantly different musical repertoire places a limitation on the amount of preparation one can devote to arranging and producing a new album (I do all the arranging myself), but the financial question is usually the primary deterrent to spinning out a new recording every year or so. I am an active enough writer and arranger to have plenty of material that I wish to record, but alas--I am not independently wealthy! I gave up that possibility years ago when I gave up microbiology as my chosen profession... or medicine... after all, have you ever known a poor microbiologist? But I digress...
I came to the conclusion this morning that the recording dates will indeed happen as scheduled. Many times in my life God has led me to a point that seems like a precipice. My dilemma is whether to turn around and go back (which sometimes is the wise thing to do!) or trust that this is what He is leading me to do and take that step into the unknown... He will never push me over! I have to take the step of faith myself because He respects my free will. As long as I am sure that what I mean to do is within His plan for me, taking the step will assuredly result in more life growth and worthy challenges, even though the path may be fraught with difficulty along the way. However, dreams never risked will never be even partially realized... How I wax philosophical in these blogs! :)
All that said, I am thrilled about the new project, the details of which I am keeping under my hat for the moment... but I can say that it will include wonderful songs by contemporary jazz composers as well as yet unrecorded music by Grammy-winning jazz legends. These fantastic songs have either never seen the light of day (never been recorded) or have not had their due attention by contemporary singers. I am honored to have the opportunity to assemble the first hearing of music of such high quality for another historically important and relevant album that will broaden our contemporary Great American Songbook and shine light on deserving jazz composers--many who happen to be personal friends of mine. Furthermore, the band lineup for this project is so stellar that I can hardly believe my good fortune... word is getting around Los Angeles about this recording and I am receiving offers from "A-list" musicians who are asking me to be part of the project... I never thought I'd see the day!
If you would like to join our project and contribute as a financial backer, please be in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will need several backers to make this happen, but since I detest crowdfunding, I have decided not to pursue that avenue. I will leave it to you, dear readers and friends, that if you feel so inclined to assist with the production of a recording that will preserve high-quality music of some of the most outstanding composers of our time (and of the 20th century), and you would like to help defray costs for musicians who cannot possibly recoup the costs of recording music anymore (given the ubiquity of internet piracy and the devaluation of recorded music via free downloads and streaming services), we would GLADLY and THANKFULLY accept financial backing of any amount to preserve these pieces of American culture. The many musicians in L.A. that are excited about our project believe in the value of preserving and releasing this music, as I am sure do many of you. Thank you so much for your support and for helping us keep the music playing!