Thanks for your very thoughtful review of my CD.

You wrote:
     I yearn to be challenged, shocked, like a musical version of Fear Factor, where healthy young girls fall out of helicopters, only with a Coda. But I suspect that my reaction reflects more on me than on the music. After several decades of listening to and playing Jazz has my nervous system become so deeply grooved that only the most outrageous sounds can ring through as truly original?

      I understand your ideas. I think we are all functioning as a result of our own perspectives. For example, in reference to the way you characterized your tastes having changed over time, it is worth noting that that is a result of exposure.
     Last year, when I interviewed Pat Metheny he mentioned something interesting and apropos to what you wrote. He said that the overwhelming majority and percentage of people who will ever be exposed to and or enjoy the music we are creating, have not been born yet. That's kind of amazing when you think of it. And, when you think about it, the same statements would have held true during the time Bach, Beethoven, Mozart or any other artists were creating music.
     I took the long way around. . . but, what seems old, or not new or revolutionary to you and me, and people around us, is going to be brand new and fresh to someone standing next to us.
     In the case of jazz, in general, or Charlie Parker, for example in particular, the majority of people in the United States have consciously heard little of the former that they could identify or know is jazz....and may have no knowledge of Parker at all. Yet, you and I understand his music to be of significant influence––especially at the time it was occurring.
     When I first heard jazz (and my earliest exposure was to Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson, Buddy Rich. . .) I did not have any idea what it was. But I was suddenly magnetized toward and energized by this music. There are people who have yet to be exposed to this music (as Pat Metheny alluded to)––some of those are children and adults around us today. To them, what you and I perceive as old hat, traditional, and so on, is going to be revolutionary and brand new to them. . . perhaps driving the new listeners' curiosity to explore further.
     Anyway, I think to be free and exploratory, one benefits by having a mastery of the existing vocabulary and technique. Then taking chances and being free also takes on some meaning. Perhaps that meaning might be lasting, by virtue of the depth that someone with such understanding (developed through practice and experience) might have. Equipped with these advantages of depth and diversity of understanding, and a background, we then have the option to choose to play inside or outside. We have the option to choose whether or not to provide one kind of approach or performance to another––such as the comparison between something traditional versus something more "Fear Factor" oriented. I think that is important --the ability to choose. But, as you know being limited to doing just the adventurous, free or "Fear Factor" is sometimes a function of limited ability.
     The music on "Blessing In Disguise" of course, as you aware, was a conscious choice. There is a lot of other music I want to continue to explore and write-- including making recordings with more of a free perspective.
     I appreciate your understanding of my music and talent.

Eric Nemeyer