I don’t know about you, but when something new begins- a new cycle, a season, a project, or a year– it’s not the first day that matters to me, but some point just past it. This point is where I like to savor that newness. Like taking off on a boat, but waiting before you look back- before seeing the dock recede in your wake; or peering out from the first vantage point on a hike, to the place you started from. Today, feels like that turn-around place, that vista.
I can’t believe how busy this year has kicked off. But before visiting that- I just have to salute a couple of mileposts in 2011. First, I’m happy to have a blog sanctuary now- one place where poems, jewelry, lyrics, and life come together. It has helped me see the little notches in progress that really do add up. Musically speaking, when I look back via blog posts one year ago, I find the Muses and influences for all the songs on my new album. I was so excited to stand on the shoulders of Tradition and sing out in my own voice. I guessed the new work would take a few months to finish. Ha! It took almost a year to write, record, mix & master this album, Torch and Sass. Always takes longer, eh? But I/we have 13 original jazzy blues tunes, and the journey was full.
Release date is March 2012. I’m sending it out for critical review now- and feel good about it all.
Third, it was really important to me to launch my on-line jewelry store this year, to try to sell my work beyond my circle of supportive friends. The store name became an animal of a concept that morphed from several things into, finally, “The Three Muses”- a topic that poetry and music and purpose led me to. After all, jewelry too is a place where Muses converge. I made my first sales this year to real folks I’ve never met!! in addition to my Mum! 😉 This was SO exciting for me!! Here is my jewelry page update.
2012 began with a big move; unpacking boxes, electrical work & painting rooms. All while we quietly finished the CD itself.
Producer sign off; check. Mastering back in Tejas; check. We took cover photos and I asked for help choosing the cover on Facebook.
Master photographer, graphic designer JT did the layout & design; we learned about vector art.
This is the final product:
And then something crazy cool came up. It was on my list o’ goals for 2012 to play the biggest jazz club in the SF Bay area, Yoshis, sometime this year. I envisioned a CD release there this Summer. But the first week of January, Yoshi’s heard some of the new songs (thank you S), and booked me in their January artists showcase! So the band & I spent the last 3 weeks on new songs, writing horn parts, refining charts & just burning oil all around to present the new material. Unbelievable that before Torch and Sass came out, we played Yoshi’s-Oakland. Last week! And they are the first to post a song from the new album here.
It was pure JOY. A bit surreal at first, and then magical; to see friends there-was the best, they helped me ground. Building community with my music is all I want to do. I had to remember to breathe at first; seriously, a stage where I go to see Terrance Blanchard, Winton Marsalis, Zakir Hussain, Aaron Parks… How sweet it was to play with my wonderful bandmates- The Rumor Mill.
More than “be careful what you wish for”, I’d say; Keep your dreams front and center. Prepare. Be ready! Repeat.