The Cane Strain Shuffle

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As the demons in the Republican clown car vomit all over each other about who can declare war the loudest, I’m compelled to get my blog on. Desperate to get revenge against their declared Antichrist Barack Obama, their new platform is fear. I hear no talk about figuring out how to stop another psychopath who wants to murder children. How about a moment of silence for the children of Sandy Hook Elementary?

Here you go kids.


May there be peace, on Earth.

These are strange days. This morning I was friend requested by a reporter in Syria, at least, that’s how he portrayed himself. He sent me a message asking me how I was feeling today. I found this odd, and I asked him why he was interested in my page. He paused for awhile and then came back and said music because that’s all that’s left holding the world together. I agreed and sent back an Albert Ayler quote that music is the healing force of the universe. After this exchange, I inquired what he was doing over there. He said the rebels were out of control. I need to learn more about Syria, but this felt odd. He said he would like to talk more about this. I decided we needed to part ways, and left him with a message of peace, whoever he was. The danger zone for me is that people have tried to use my love of music against me. A fake festival promoter offered me $15,000 for my 12 Houses Orchestra to play in Europe a few months ago. When I asked him what it was about the 12 Houses that inspired him, he said he liked music and gave me no specifics. The further I pushed, I got him to admit he was trying to hustle me. I pushed further, and he responded with a weird threat that if I knew what was good for me, I would quit while I was ahead.

Strange days indeed. I’ve written about a forced spiritual evolution of the human race for years here in blog land. If it’s happening, then we are getting down to the reality of just how twisted we are.

A few weeks back I was in the zone. After work, I practice in the back room at Sam Ash as hard as I can for an hour and change, and then I hustle to Hot Yoga to try and keep my body together. On the hustle to make it to Yoga I stepped in a pothole, and my ankle bent the wrong way, an unnatural way, to the left. I went down hard. I was out on the street, right near a corner where someone was shot and killed recently in a dispute over drugs. While people in NYC tend to ignore hardship, in general, two women were shocked that I went down, and both of them helped me up. They asked me if I was OK and if I wanted an ambulance. I was still thinking of shaking it off and heading to Yoga, but the truth is I was hurt pretty bad. It was back to what I now call the cane strain shuffle.

Walking with a cane in NYC is a whole other world. You see and are seen differently. Most people continue to ignore you and keep their noses buried in digital dope. Tonight after work I got into an N train that was empty. I expected and quickly saw the reason, a homeless person with a massive stank happening that was dangerous to him and all around him. This person was wearing a garbage bag. Did I offer assistance? I did not, but I should have done something. After one stop I split for another car, which was fairly crowded. No seats. Several people took note of my cane pain but quickly went back to checking in on a tweet by Kanye West. Nobody offered me a seat. I knew the deal, even though my ankle was having a tantrum. At the next stop, everything went next level when a very, very pregnant woman walked on, who was clearly stressed out and exhausted.

Again, several people took a quick glance but then retreated from taking action. One man saw me looking at him looking, and looked away quickly, perhaps out of guilt. As the train pulled out, not a single person offered their seat. Deny me rest with my sprained ankle, I can take it, but this woman is on the verge of giving birth. I was looking around at all the people and considering a spontaneous street sermon when an old man took action. Possibly in his 80’s or later, this old man told the woman to take his seat, and he grabbed the pole with me. She graciously accepted and thanked him.

Respect for you sir. Deep respect. I smiled at him, and we had small talk about my ankle. My faith was destroyed and restored in a matter of seconds. I’ll try and turn that into music.

Music, music, music. As the battle for America’s soul starts to ramp up, all I can think of to do is keep playing, and maybe attend an anti-trump rally. I might sneak into a Trump event and then pull out my horn.


As 2015 comes to a close, I want to salute my brothers and sisters in music. The 12 Houses mission to provide free jazz for the people is now becoming clear. Sumari turned heads in Downbeat. I have to take lady Alto out to dinner for that one. After 25 years, I was finally able to respond to Trane’s great record Interstellar Space on record. The Bern Nix Quartet steams ahead whether the engine is dead or were out of gas. We play ON.

That’s what we music soldiers will do in 2016. As the world feels like it’s ready to explode, we will play on.

Forward march music soldiers.


We got this.




For Bernie Sanders



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