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Further persuasive inspiration from music

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As I have said before, for me jazz is improvisation, spontaneity, feeling, being in the moment, tight interaction, entertainment, pushing the limits of excellence, creativity, expanding into new frontiers, fun, inspiration, and discovery. That also is what my criminal defense work is about, albeit with frustration. I continue turning to music for personal and professional inspiration.

Here are some of the recent musical inspirations that I have found:

Above , the totally talented Anthony Braxton —- whom I experienced in 1983 in Boston in a double-billing with Gil Evans — speaks in awe of the late, great trumpeter Woody Shaw.

Woody Shaw plays his spectacular Rosewood composition here, in 1979. I went to experience Woody Shaw on the Boston Harbor jazz boat in mid-1983. Arriving too late to easily find a seat with a stage view, my friend and I took a seat slightly behind the stage. A kindly man encouraged looking harder for a seat seeing the stage, to hear the music better. We finally found seats where he recommended. Woody Shaw came onstage, and I was floored that he was the man recommending seeking better seats (by then, he unexpectedly looked much different than the pictures on his albums). During intermission, I told Woody how much he and his music had meant to me. I asked him about his trumpet, and he handed it to me, which I had not sought nor expected. I pretended as best I could to be calm with his priceless Yamaha trumpet, and handed it back as quickly as I could like a hot potato.

Woody’s official website says: “Like many geniuses, however, Woody’s journey would involve periods of prolonged struggle and hardship, yet through his sacrifice and dedication to the evolution of Jazz music, he added to the vocabulary of the trumpet and created a musical language which was all his own.” The same month as my law school graduation, Woody died of kidney failure at age forty-four, which is three years younger than my current age. He accomplished so much in such a short time.

What happens when musicians act? Round Midnight has one answer, putting sax great Dexter Gordon (see here, too) in the leading role. For good measure, Martin Scorsese is included in the cast.

In court, I do not have the luxury of turning up a stereo or bringing in my horn. When I immerse myself in my entire being and experience, though, the music is present all day everywhere I go.