Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Six degrees

Today I'm in NJ as part of an executive management training program through Columbia University. Tonight we had a great treat and were able to see Chris Washburne and the Sytos Band, a Jazz combo, as part of the program.

Tonight was part of our leadership training and the Jazz combo was used to illustrate team dynamics. Some of the questions we asked centered around how does a Jazz team prepare, what happens if you don't like your team members, how does the team recover from mistakes, along with questions to the band regarding the popularity differences from country to country of Jazz worldwide.

Chris Washburne and the Syotos Band
November 11, 2008
The Heldrich Hotel
New Brunswick, New Jersey

Epistrophy (Thelonious Monk)
Killer Joe (Benny Goldsoon)
I Thought About You (Frank Sinatra / Miles Davis)
Caravan (Duke Ellington)

This combo was as good as it gets, and the environment in which it was presented were ideal including the setting of a hotel bar, 20 ft high ceilings and carpet with only 30 people. This made for the perfect acoustics although in an imperfect environment.

Over dinner the band sat with us and by a stroke of chance I ended up sitting by the drummer, Vince Cherico. We had a fantastic conversation and talked about his experiences, my experiences, and some of his friends including Kenny Aronoff. As we talked I discovered that Rufus Philpot was a bass player that he played with in his past and is someone that I'll be playing with in Seven Seraphim in Feburary. It is such a small world. I can't believe that as part of an executive training course through Columbia University that I met a Jazz Drummer from New York CIty that has performed with a bass player I'll be performing with in Los Angeles. This makes me only 2 degrees of separation from the band tonight. David -> Rufus (1) - Rufus -> Vince (2).

Vince and I exchanged information and I hope to meet up with him next time he is performing in Los Angeles. In addition to seeing him perform I hope that I'll be able to take some Jazz / Latin drum lessons from Vince.

The band was extremely generous with their time and even gave us CD's. I can't wait to hear it when I'm back home.

This week has required significant focus and a lot of work, but after an evening like tonight I feel that I've been rewarded through music which is so important to me, and I've made a connection with many of my team mates that are part of the organization I just joined.

I have one more day left in NJ but I don't see how it can get any better than this.

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