Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Originally uploaded by fabfunkydiva.

DON'T FREAK OUT, I AM NOT A MANGIRL!!.......AND DON'T PICK AT ME, IT WAS THE 80'S. I love myself some Prince and as you can see, it's a love from way back when. I told Lambchop that I would blog about this so, time like now.

1985, when everything was LIVE!!!! I fell in love with the idea of becoming a musician. I'd studied music since 3rd grade. It started out with wanting to learn an instrument. My newly divorced mom had no money for a sax (the insrument she loved most), so we had to focus on the flute (the cheapest of them all).***Well, I guess I could have gotten some cheap ass drumsticks and a drum pad but, I'm pretty sure it wasn't lady like enough for my mother to even consider for me.**** So, flute it was.

I remember my teacher had me focus on the correct breathing, lip and blow patterns to successfully create a clear tone using ONLY the mouth piece. As a kid, you are ready to wreck some ish. So, I couldn't get to fingering fast enough. I loved learning and practicing. The best part, I later discovered was la piece de resistance,..."the PERFORMANCE!" I loved it. There was such a sense of accomplishment afterward.

As I got older, I took up other instruments....guitar, piano, violin and piccolo. Music was something that I had become 1 with.

Then there was Prince. This musical genius that was self taught and brilliant. I was intrigued. Then he had the balls to be racy and outspoken even though he rarely spoke. He was articulate and wise. I had to know more.

I became obsessed of course. Not to the point of stalking him or anything but I was one of those kids that thought alot about the words he'd written. There were so many subliminal and coded meanings to his lyrics. I was a virgin so I was lost most of the time. The religious stuff always got to me.

I know,..... this post really isn't about my love of Prince, but my love of music, bare with me. So, anyway......

I used to wonder about how cool it would be to bring your inner thoughts to life through music. How cool would it be for people to lose themselves, like I did between the chords in melodies? I felt things and I wanted people to feel them to.

I thought about how cool it would be to travel the world. Of course everyone wants money, but that didn't move me. I used to invision cheap ass Motel 6 kinda places with the vibrating beds and the neon lights outside the window. (i know, too much dam tv as a kid)

I wanted it all. So, I had fallen in love with Prince. There was this yearly dramatic performance production put on at Morris Brown College (back in the 80's before the drama). I got the chance to impersonate Prince and I had my very own Revolution. Lisa & Wendy, the Doctor, Dez and a cute little fluffy black girl that doubled as Andre Cymone and Brown Mark. Funny, we had no Bobby Z (the drummer). Anyway, we entered the auditorium on Girls & Boys and before it was over,....girls and guys were screaming and asking me to take pictures with them. It was complete pandemonium.

I LOVED IT! It was about the performance. It was about the adrenalin rush. It was about the attention. It was about the excitement. It was the sense of accomplishment. It was about the approval. I had to have this feeling of success all the time. At this very point in my life, I became infected. I knew that I could never be someone that worked regular hours, sat at a desk to do paperwork and watched the days go by. I knew I could not live this way and be happy. (funny how things happen)

Anyway, fast forward to 12th grade. It's time to decide....WHAT ARE U GONNA DO WITH YOUR LIFE? Me? I WANNA ROCK!!! I had it all planned. It was to be a successful Jazz instrumentalist or bumsville city. Succeed or Fail. Just that cut and dry, black and white for me at that time. Everyone said, "you won't make no money in music. why don't you go to college and major in bit-ness or somethin wit dem puters?" I held fast yall. I stood strong.......and compromised. (i know, i know)

I decided to go to college and major in music. This way, if things didn't work out (which they would), I would be able to fall back on teaching....still doing something I loved....working with music.

To make an already long story short-er, I went to college. Fell in love with theory, conterpoint and composition. I fell in love with performing in the concert bands and being a part of the Marching Rams Show Band. I excelled. I finished my courses. The last thing that I had to do was the recital. The recital,....on stage.....ALONE.....performing in front of GOD knows who....A-L-O-N-E! back-up!! I began to hyperventilate. I started freaking out. I started f-ing up. Before as Prince, I was lip-syncing. I can lip synch the HELL out of a song, but this was for real. My fingers began to get stiff from all the nervousness. My melodies began to crack. I started racing through the pieces so that it all could be OVER.

When I left the stage that night, I knew I could never perform alone as a jazz musician. I tried with a trio, but I just couldn't get back my mojo. I couldn't shake the jitters.

There is a performer that dwells within me. I guess that's why I do so well with radio, but the minute a spotlight hits me....I AM UTTERLY AND COMPLETELY FROZEN!!!

I can always fall back on teaching even though I lack the patience......... NAH, who am I kidding? Entertaining is still the life for me. Radio is something I love. I stumbled upon it pursuing music. There's a stage and no spot light. PERFECT!!!


keep on keepin' on........


Brownsoul said...

Wow, Jazz. I love myself some music so this was indeed an interesting post to read. I just wish that I had some type of musical talent, but since I don't, I'll just continue to listen and enjoy.

BTW. Great lesson of the day here, and it rings so true.

Casey said...


Dayrell said...

I really enjoyed your story Jazz. It made me smile. And with the ending I felt like you were talking to me. Yea, I see why youre so intrigued, b/c that Prince is definitely talented! I remember I melted when I first learned that he was classically trained. I know a lot of people will look at Prince and say "You said what! He's classically who?" But yea, that Prince is something else! Pure talent at it finest.

Yea, I think we should all do what makes us happy in life, you are definitely right about that...preach girl!


Yolie said...

Yes! Music does that to people. Music does that to me. I used to always wonder how I could teach myself to play a piano, the flute, and spin harmony from a clarinet like it was intricately connected to me, but I couldn't sing--a lick. I figured that out eventually: God didn't want me to get a bighead, so he had to take something away. LOL

And Prince gives me goosebumps. His music is unlike any I've ever heard. He is truly a musical genius.

I also could not agree more about doing what makes you happy. We pass through here once that we're aware of. I say enjoy it to the fullest. Live it without boundaries.

One question, why does this thing make us sign-in to our blogger account? What happened to other? LOL


Nikki said...

Jazz, I completely understand your passion for music. I'm a musician myself. I play piano, keyboards, guitar, marimba and harp. Art also flowed through my veins, and I've been painting since elementary. Art (sketching, painting, sculpting) seemed to override music for the mostpart, but I still pick up my guitar and keyboards every other day.

Jdid said...

great post. i like that you remained close to music.

IL Lake Effect said...

Oh My God! Where do I start? how much space do I get, Jazz.... for real.....

DAMN, JAZZ. YOU AIN'T NEVER LIED....*still cussin*

Seriously.........If you have seen "Drumline" and/or heard track #2s' lyrics on the soundtrack, then you have met Bobby J, pretty much, give or take some events.

We, still, need to talk.........

PrayerWarrior said...

I love the fact that you have done exactly what you told the rest of us to do. You have a life long story to tell about you and music. New chapters being added daily. I can't describe how important this post is to me. I'm in that place right now, that place where all my focus is being turned to pursing all the things that make me happy. Timeless post.

Mo said...

Lovely Post. I'm here..not blogging but trying to do what I love...still trying to figure that out and find out how though too...Thank you for sharing this...i'll take it as a lesson learned...ROCK ON JAZZ!

Mo said...

Oh yeah and i've always wanted to learn how to play the piano...took ballet classes years ago...never got the parents to get me some piano lessons....can't remember squat about dancing...still yearn to play some keys.

Sunnchine said...

YEAH! I love that you stuck with your first love. And ROFL at your Prince impersonation! LOL!

Anyway, very good post. I needed to hear that :)

Apocalypse said...

that picture is classic!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Honey said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. I'm a Prince-a-holic too, lol. Although I never learned to play an instrument I can relate to your love of music and what it does for heart and soul.

lis said...

I am laughing left and right. First of all... all this talk of Prince really took me back. Secondly, it's perfect timing. I just watched the end of the NAACP awards and Prince performed with Morris Day & Jerome, and Sheila E. I was in heaven. If they added all the Time, Wendy & Lisa, The Family... I'd be in heaven! Lastly... MANGIRL?!?! HAHAHAHA hysterical!

Patrick Barry Barr said...

You wanted to make a long story short, and I wanted a long story. :( I enjoyed it so much.

So, you freaked out ONCE, at your recital. I wonder how many times Edison freaked out before he came up with the light bulb. Of course, you would be right if you told me that a brother did help him out, that he didn't do it alone. But I am a strong believer that the jitters that you had can be overcome.

I used to freak out about speaking in public. Because I was never seen without a book, people assumed I was smart, that I could just get up and speak. Wrong. But I learned that everybody has butterflies in their stomachs. The trick is to get them to fly in formation.

I joined Toastmaster's when I was working at AT&T, and made opportunities to speak. I got to the point where it was tough to shut me up.

I believe if you spoke with enough musicians you may find out that it took them a long time to get it together ... alone. But, my dear diva, you really don't have to go out there alone. I would learn music just to get out there with you. What I am saying is: I got your back.

Suezette b.k.a. Mz.Black Geisha said...


Diva said...

Hey Jazz! What was it that the late comedian, Robin Harris said about the piccolo player? LOL We certainly have a few things in common Ms. Jazz. I also play flute and piccolo (da bomb diggity baby). I took up clarinet and then tried the alto sex, SAX! Alto SAX! Sorry, long night. I love Prince too...he's such a freakin' hottie. mmm mmm mmm Anyway, this was a really good post sweetie. I really enjoyed it. You had a sistah crackin' up!

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