Friday, December 03, 2004


I have returned from Tokyo more or less intact and am attempting to sleep for a week and place all circumstances beyond my control. Much to relate but it will require a essay. In brief, Japan was super fabulous, as were the folks I with whom I worked (Yukiko, Ken, Nabeji, Rie, Nabe, Kaoru – I love you all) and it was also very Japanese, so much so that back-in-the-USA now seems grimly American. More of this later, however. Right now...

The secret word is Knackered.

I leave you with this gem that arrived while I was away, sent by both Jack Lancaster and Doug Lunn.
Interviewer: Yogi, can you explain jazz?

Yogi: I can't, but I will.... 90% of all jazz is halfimprovisation. The other half is the part people playwhile others are playing something they never played with anyone who played that part. So if you play thewrong part, its right. If you play the right part, it might be right if you play it wrong enough.But if you play it too right, it's wrong.

Interviewer: I don't understand.

Yogi: Anyone who understands jazz knows thatyou can't understand it. It's too complicated. That's what's so simple about it.

Interviewer: Do you understand it?

Yogi: No. That's why I can explain it. If I understood it, I wouldn't know anything about it.

Interviewer: Are there any great jazz players alive today?

Yogi: No. All the great jazz players alive today are dead. Except for the ones that are still alive. But so many of them are dead, that the ones that are still alive are dying to be like the ones that are dead.

Interviewer: What is syncopation?

Yogi: That's when the note that you should hear now happens either before or after you hear it. In jazz, you don't hear notes when they happen because that would be some other type of music. Other types of music can be jazz, but only if they're the same as something different from those other kinds.

Interviewer: Now I really don't understand.

Yogi: I haven't taught you enough for you to not understand jazz that well.