Avant-garde session in Bronx

Enrique gave me a buzz around 8pm.
"Hey we are gonna do a session in one hour. Would you like to come? You, me, Lexy and Jimbo."
Almost every musician has the strongest genre for him or her to play. We professionals play a lot of different styles of music; classical, jazz, Latin, rock, pop etc., but there is always one style which is natural to the musician. It's like multi-lingual people. No matter how fluent they can speak many languages, they always have a mother tongue. In my case, it's avant-garde jazz.
I'm ashamed of myself to say this but I had not even tried to play what I love the most. The last time I played avant-garde was the last session we had about a couple of months ago. I was picking up my acoustic bass even before I finished the conversation with Enrique on the phone.

45 minutes later, we all were in the room which I have never been. Enrique's friend owns a building in Bronx and he let Enrique use the empty room for him to practice or to have some jam sessions. The biggest room we normally use have a tenant now so we used the caretaker's room for the warehouse-section of the building.

"Guys, you should see the warehouse," Enrique said and we followed him to the inside of the warehouse. There were whole bunch of art works of graffiti. The owner of this building invite graffiti artists to the warehouse and let them work on their graffiti, not on the walls but on the canvas. They are quite interesting and fun to look at. "Art is not authority." Each one of this spray-painted art work is saying that. Maybe next Banksy or Basquiat will be born from here in Bronx.

(Sorry that I cannot show you any of the great and hip art works. I've never been to the atelier of graffiti artists but check out the mountain of spray cans!)

What a perfect place to play avant-garde jazz or the music called free jazz (Just the name is different. They are same things.) We played high energy improvisations from the very beginning. Free jazz is not a bunch of random notes. If we were playing whatever randomly, it's going to be unpleasant sequence of noise; it's like committing a crime of conscience. Free jazz is far from that. We are communicating by sounds, communicating with each other, with the atmosphere and making one big picture. The whole process has to be selfless and we have to surrender to the music. We become totally free and create our own style of music. I know it sounds insane. In my opinion, a musician who doesn't do or denies doing crazy stuff should quit music immediately. I don't know how many more years I can keep this fire and insanity. I cannot be an ordinary people and have a 9-to-5 job because of this insanity. At the same time, this insanity gives me a confidence that I can keep being an artist.

My dear fellow musicians

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