THIS MONTH’S TWO FEATURED ARTISTS,
STEVE VAI AND NICOLAS ERIC BIBB,
REFLECT THE WIDE RANGE OF GUITAR PLAYING ,
AND REVEAL HOW THEIR WORLDVIEW AFFECTS THEIR MUSIC STYLE
CHECK THEM OUT IN THE INTERVIEW SECTION
Match the artists below with their scheduled
shows on the left!
FAITH OF OUR FATHERS
The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
If anyone knew about being a father, it was King Solomon, who had 700 wives and 300 concubines. His thoughts on fatherhood are recorded in both the book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. On a side note, if you ever want to see how he was able to attract so many wives, take a look at his writings in Song of Solomon for a few tips on how to treat a woman. But I digress…
Obviously, all of us who are reading this are the descendants of a father; most of us know who he was, as well as was raised by him. Most, but not all, but that is a social/demographic discussion for another time.
The main point is that it doesn’t take too much to be able to father a child, but there is a major difference between this and being a true father to that child. The classic book Missing From Action: Vanishing Manhood in America lists three major characteristics of a father: 1) taking the initiative 2) zeal for protection and nurturing 3) responsibility for duty.
- 1) In this day of passivity, a real man stands out by taking a task on without being asked to do something. As they say at MacDonalds’ “Clean up a clean room.” You don’t wait for it to get messy; keep it in order. A real father who oversees a family, ministry or company anticipates potential problems and nips them in the bud. This is how great inventions have been made.
- 2) Men are built for action. We can use our strength for protection and building or destruction and predation. Building a family, a cause or a movement and making the family or organization feel safe is what we were created to do. The false side of the coin is when we use our “conquering” tendencies to overpower someone or something, or abandon our calling to protect in order to gratify our selfish desire. But, if we use our inherent qualities to make those around us feel safe as we “bravely explore new worlds” we are fulfilling our calling as fathers.
- 3) It seems this day men, especially fathers, are abdicating their responsibility to oversee their family, as well as their domestic and work roles. If men don’t take ownership of their duties, family, and therefore society fall apart. I do medical mission work in Egypt, and the only reason this poor country hasn’t internally imploded is because the fathers are strong enough to create a cohesive family unit. The strength of the families make it possible for the people to survive all of the turmoil that threatens the core of society, and it is the only thing that keeps the fragile strands of this civilization intact through dictators and revolutions.
I have two daughters, both in the health field. One is a child counselor, and the other has dealt with eating disorders. I’ve asked each one, independently what is the common quality that patients have with either personality or eating disorders. Both my daughters gave a one word answer, “Fathers.” What they meant was that the father was either abusive, non-existence in terms of abandonment or simply uninvolved in the kid’s upbringing.
What does this have to do with music? PLENTY! I’ve written before about the importance of women in society, and in jazz in particular. However, the issue of fatherhood needs to be addressed as well. We men have a responsibility to oversee our families, our society, and our craft. In music, I’m always impressed by musicians who feel that they have a God-called duty to honor the music. What this means is that they serve the music and try to make it more creative as well as more accessible to more people. They aren’t satisfied with what most people listen to; they want the world to appreciate the wonders of all types of music. They see the listening audience as their world to nurture.
Do you see your craft as such? Do you see your family as such? Do you see your circle of friends as such? You don’t have to have physical offspring to be a father.
This month we have interviews with two men, Steve Vai and Eric Bibb, who, while using the same instrument, have “fathered” their styles in completely different directions. Vai, playing electric guitar, has continued the legacy of jazz fusion, while Bibb is acoustic in his protection and nurturing of folk blues. Like their styles, their interviews reflect their music. Vai is explorative, creative and all encompassing while Bibb is concise, traditional and to the point. This is the beauty of fatherhood in relation to music; the basics of the calling can be well served in “urban” or “rural” settings!
In my monthly “No One Asked My Opinion, But…” editorial, I’ve listed men who were fathers in various senses. Most were the fathers of musical movements, and others have been fathers in other dimensions. Some have been successful fathers in the domestic sense; artists such as David Brubeck, John Clayton or Booker T Jones have had their sons in their own bands. What a thrill to see your vision passed on.
You can do it as well; find how you can be the father of a cause, a family or even a “nation”!
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate
KEEP WRITING US. HERE ARE SOME RECENT COMMUNICATIONS…
Just wanted to thank you so much for the wonderful interview/article. And it was so great chatting with you, as well…. thanks for an all around enjoyable experience!
Hope you are well. I just read your telephone interview with Nicolas Meier – very interesting! Nicolas and I have been good friends since he moved to the UK about 20 years ago – we also live very close to each other so we see each other frequently.
I think his latest album is his best to date – having Jimmy and Vinnie on it is awesome!
Also, I wanted to take the opportunity to see if you received my album ‘The Time Thief’ Redtenbacher’s Funkestra. I know you are very busy – just wanted to check that it actually has arrived for whenever you might have some time for it.
Thank you very much.
I’ve been enjoying your articles – as well as your support – and am wondering where you are based?
Thank you very very much for your review. I’m very happy that you enjoyed the music and the review is really nice and original. once more you showed a great attention to the music and I’m so grateful for that.
Let’s keep in touch and ALL THE BEST from Italy.
Mr. Gadd, you are a he’ll of a drummer. I listen to you when you where playing with, Grover Washington Jr. It’s so good to see that you are still playing!
I guess my Label sent you the CD. I would like to thank you for taking the time to listen to my music.The word you used really resonate with the way I perceive my music.
Thank you very much.Take Care
Funny enough after I was summarily fired from Verve Records back in ’97 I cooled my heels to get away from it all and moved to Sherman, CT. The real estate broker told me, ‘do you know Tommy Lipuma?” He’s your next door neighbor!” It was the house + barn where he recorded “Unforgettable.” Tommy had not taken over at Verve for another couple years and we somehow lived in peace, as he heard me in the distance banging my drums and driving my Ferrari at top speed (very loudly) on our rural roads in horse country. Super nice man. Love him. We even had Llamas next door too.
Thanks for the article,
I tuned in here to your writing to read a review of my latest disc, but instead I found an article on giving thanks, faith, and perspective. I been struggling in near every area of my life for nearly a decade. In my tight little family I faced cancer, drugs, lost faith, Alzheimer’s, and the prospect of supporting us on a musicians wages. I have been overwhelmed with my loss and how complete it seemed. Someone can say right thing to you at the right time and suddenly your life can seem so much better. Thank you for the article.
You inspired me to write the Thanksgiving Song !
Very good article, thanks
Dear Jazz Weekly,
I ran into your 2014 interview with Larry Carlton. I’ve been a Steely Dan fan for 35 years but never knew anything about Larry. I loved hearing that Larry is a man of faith, even after the gun shot incident. Thanks!
Really great work, George. That was one heck of a conversation with Kirk Whalum!
Peace, Love and Joy,
thanks again for this great review!
Great article. Thanks. I’Il share with the boys!
Philippe Saisse (Al Di Meola Band)