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  • Writer's pictureMichael Holme

Herbie Hancock speaking as if about a life metaphor

A few years ago I bought Herbie's jazz piano lessons on They were, in conclusion, unexpected, because in a sentence, they summarised to, "you're already there." He liked mentioning Miles Davis, the band leader and most brilliant jazz trumpeter, who Herbie played keys for for a time.

On hearing an ostensibly wrong note within the mix, Miles' lead and outright genius, would alway cause it to be an opportunity for excitement, innovation, and creative exploration. To Miles, no notes were wrong. As in life, some choices lead to rocky paths, but lessons, achievements, and more, can reward the stalwart.

Herbie could have taken a much more micro, rather than an ultimately macro approach, and prescribed many scales, chords, and other building blocks, just like many others. That wouldn't promote uniqueness! Herbie's validating words near the end of his "masterclass" video lessons, are parallel to the much more general individuality message, in both my own "I am" book, and many of my equivalent words, elsewhere.

Of course academics teach people about artists that have worked earlier on. However, they would not have any courses, or perhaps even physical establishments, without doing so.

In fairness though, if you avoided any adulteration of students, the resulting mavericks that graduate, might find making livings hard. People risk the conventional, more readily.

Despite that, and about life, the fourth and final stanza of my 2015 poem, "Recalling the wilderness", goes like this -

* * *

Be aware that most folk act.

They are not better than you.

Be you. Honestly, be true.

You are amazing. Just do.

* * *

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