Writing

Ronald Shannon Jackson

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obviously, there are no singular favorites or best.

with that in mind, Ronald Shannon Jackson is my favorite drummer, and my favorite composer/band-leader.

in my opinion, that is because there is no essential difference between his drumming and his composition.

in this music, composition is the means by which one gets a group of musicians to coalesce and enter a musical cosmos that the composer heard inside themselves.

Ronald Shannon Jackson advised musicians to pay attention to what they first play when they pick up their instrument, by themselves, at home. That is the direction in which one should continue to move.

on a purely external level, I subjectively disagree with some of the aesthetic choices in his music, mostly due to the point in linear time in which it manifested.

good thing then that there is no need to listen externally!

in fact, this speaks only to the true spiritual power of this music’s essence.

personally, I would summarize it as: Shannon’s blood and chi flowed with something akin to thunder and lightning energy, containing a beaming quality of purely positive life affirmation.

it is clear that he attracted beings of a similar and/or complimentary vibration, as we all do.

I am thankful to have been connected with a friend and mentor in Tomchess, who had that same relationship directly, with Ronald Shannon Jackson. All the elders have told us of the importance of the elders – may we be worthy to stand on their shoulders!

some recommended listening:

dankurfRonald Shannon Jackson
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know thyself

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know thyself  – the most fundamental axiom from which any positive spiritual activity may be established.

the most fundamental positive spiritual activity one can do is to turn one’s gaze inward.

and God created human beings in God’s own image.

Islamic understanding – human being contains the 99 attributes and all polar potentialities within.

that is the range from higher than the angels to lower than the beasts.

attention towards the heart, the heart towards the holy essence.

each one comes with a guidance perpetually pointing and pulling outside and in.

playing music:

only play what you first hear inside yourself.

one way in is repetition as a vehicle for focus and intention.

the music is a cosmos unto itself, and every gathering of playing and listening to music is a journey to and into that cosmos.

some sessions, we will only reach the border, or barely cross it. that is ok – there is value there.

some sessions we will go deeper – sometimes, our phrases become imbued with a density, agility and speed that may be more difficult to speak with ease and honesty in shallower areas of the cosmos.

William Parker says, the point is to vibrate sound into tone. We start with sound, but tone is the language through which spirits speak.

I believe it is important to balance on a point between sobriety and ecstasy, as we can always go further.

Miles says, it is hard to sound like oneself.

true, and also true that it is impossible to do anything BUT sound like oneself.

I think what he meant is that it is hard to know thyself.

dankurfknow thyself
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