Remember Proficiency

This is the entirety of Joni Mitchell’s live show when she toured with Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, Michael Brecker, three phenomenally proficient musicians. (for a killer funky tune check out around 15:20).

Joni Mitchell’s talent is one any turd on the street could appreciate. Silky, smooth, gentle, lithe voice. Flitting, dodging and weaving lyrics driving some insightful point home. (21:20 for some examples).

Add to that Metheny’s guitar (there’s a killer solo around 3:50… a few of those quicky lines are so tasty it hurts) and Jaco’s bass (solo at 25:25 and amazing high-waisted headband grimaces throughout).

This is a stage so g’damn full of talent.

It’s easy to get people to know your name. It’s hard to be proficient.

Maybe what I mean more is: in a world of pageviews and post schedules and retweets where you’re literally rewarded for setting the bar as low as possible and speaking at the lowest common denominator to the widest possible audience, remember this stage, set your standard one notch higher, settle one bit deeper into the learner’s posture and the long term view and the awareness of true craft earnestly honed.

Or, as Wale puts it:

So fuck fame, fuck money
Fuck everything anyone can take from me
It ain’t hard to make money
We young n*ggas, we just tryna be legendary”

If you’re not on the list   I can’t help you.   Help me help you!

Hell yeah! I’m a musician who finds design candyful (to use your parlance) so imagine my delight when I check your “Best of” page, scroll to “Musics” and land on this gem.

I’ve been fully aware of this concert video for over a decade. What knocked me out was seeing a non-jazz musician blog so eloquently about it.

Kudos.

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