“Jamming needs space to layout. Not about playing all the time, it’s about listening and trying to create while you listen. State of body, state of mind, state of heart. What does this need? If nothing, don’t play. Give it space. What is your 3rd impulse? Don’t just jump right in. It’s a way of creating something you never woulda thought of.”
“The real thing is communication.” (John Medeski)
Jamming = Spontaneous communication
Everyone needs to be heard in jam rooms
“How are you gonna do something collective?” (Billy Martin)
These words were copied directly from my 2009 Camp MMW notebook. These notebooks are given to every camper on the first day so we can make note of every valuable piece of knowledge we encounter throughout our days at master classes and workshops as well as take notes throughout ensemble rehearsals. I took down these notes in the barn during the opening address to the entire camp in on the first night of camp in 2009.
This was the first time I had seen this notebook since moving into my new apartment 9 months ago. As I continued flipping through the pages I was astounded at the amount of knowledge I was able to re-capture just by reading the words I had written down almost 2 years ago. When I finished reading through every last page of notes, I realized that I needed to share all these passages with you, my readers.
For people attending camp this year for the first time, I aspire to further prepare you for the adventure you are about to embark upon. For those who have been before and are going again, I hope I can further raise your “stoke factor” and jog memories of previous camp experiences. For those of you who have never been before and aren’t going this year, I hope it makes you realize what you are missing out on and how badly you need to apply next year. Over the course of the next month, I will pick pages from my notebook at random and share the information on the page with you, word for word.
Reading my notes from the opening address, I’m sure that I only caught a portion of what was actually taught that night in the barn, but the words that I did capture, really set the tone for the week. God, you learn so much from these guys and they are so in tune to what it is that they are teaching. I just can’t wait until I arrive. In my mind, I’m already there!
On a side note, on Friday I am going out to Long Island to jam with my friend and fellow 2009 alumni Ben Holzman (a.k.a. Hurricane.) This will be my first real “jam” in quite a long time so I am getting a kind of excited for it. I will be sure to let you know on Saturday morning how it all went and will even include some photos if you are lucky.