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Free Write Friday ~ Listening for the Riffs 2 Heal My Soul featuring “Autorretrato” by Vincent Amigo

52nd Street_New York 1948 Courtesy of wikipediadotorg
52nd Street_New York 1948 Courtesy of wikipediadotorg

“Spirit is always with me. It wants to lift my pain. It does this not by abolishing painful memories but by putting me totally in the present where the past does not exist.” Deepak Chopra

Originally, a riff referred to any imaginative improvised melody.  In Jazz, riffs are musical responses and conversations musicians have among themselves that are telling stories of the challenges that life brings.  History has demonstrated that jazz has been “racialized”, “genderized” and “Americanized” with respect to identity since it dropped into American culture over 75 years ago.  Folks may not like it but they sure know what jazz is.  Jazz in literature has helped construct histories, create discourses and builds communities.  I learned that in “jazz language” riffs are artistic expressions that involve identity and are multidimensional critiques on our social and cultural condition.  It is the harmonic and melodic expression against the back-beat of the rhythmic flow of the counter-melody of our lives.

Since moving to the Bay Area from Seattle, the past six months have presented so many counter melodies and riffs brimming with painful emotions as well as physical manifestations.  These riffs continued until I created a break in my response to that pain and circumstance.  It has become very enlightening. Not feeling physically good varies from day to day.  Establishing and creating a groove and feeling of well-being is helping me to find a flow that works for me.  Improvisation in jazz is developing a language of the cultural riffs and identities through sentient experiences.  In my case the riffs of pain are a part of living and thriving with breast cancer.  I am learning to accept it.

Now I respond very quickly.  Now ask myself, am I maintaining my integrity? Do I do what I say I am going to do and respect and recognize other’s boundaries? Do I ask for forgiveness?   That has been something that has been on my mind and proven to be very liberating. . I find comfort being alone with my heart. The solitude awakens me to finding nuances in the melody and the finer points my existence..  I have been running from painful riffs most of my life.  Now I respond differently with God’s grace to open my heart and mind to the beauty that surrounds me.   Beneath the lush green grass beats a heart that is uniquely mine.

Changing the riff to a melody that is set to a different rhythm allows me to get into a groove that is healing and transforms my soul.  Not letting the well-meaning gardeners disrupt my balance and groove.  My center is dynamic and dependent upon the connection to that sacred space. It is within as well as surrounds me in a golden light that is only shadowed by painful memories. But those memories are just signs and guideposts of where I need to look in order to find my true center. I am listening to my heart….I am remembering 1965.  It was a year full of racial tension − riots, misfortune and misery that was ringing out everywhere.  I have no agenda now.  My soul speaks and inspires me to share my experiences and dreams.  I realize I have spent most of my life-giving everything away.  Now I just wanna’ keep the rest for myself.  Life is tragic when you have not lived your dreams.

Enough of mindlessly taking the path of least resistance and drowning out all connections I have to my truth.  The glorious part of 1965 when I was eleven years old was that became the year that Jazz provided the ambient substrate of my soul’s expression.  It was safe,   It was impenetrable and had washed away the misery that was blazing through the souls and streets of civility, compassion and love.    So just for today, I am looking forward — all I see and feel  is a joy and sense of wellbeing when I am writing with jazz as my muse filling my heart and soul with a love supreme. .How about you?  What would be your muse?  What are the riffs that have changed you?    I leave you with my favorite sound

Championed by the late maestro Paco de Lucía as the next great flamenco star, Spanish guitarist Vicente Amigo has more than lived up to his promise. The guitarist’s live performances feature pyrotechnic virtuosity, charisma and copious quantities of that intangible quality of Iberian music called duende, which Amigo explains simply: “If you hurt when you hear it, then it’s duende.” This promises to be an unforgettable evening of flamenco fire.  SFJazz

Peace and Love Out! 😎 & ♥

Symbol 4 Inner Peace & Strength
Symbol 4 Inner Peace & Strength

© Copyright  2011-2016 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All Rights Reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  Feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

50 Shades of Monterey ~ The Best Laid Plans…featuring “Groovin’ High” (2007 Digital Remaster) ~ Dizzy Gillespie)

happiness-quote-quotes-text-Favim.com-524414[1]

This is an excerpt from my memoir “The Sound I Felt” ~ The Feelin’ ain’t gone, it’s filled with riffs from the past, present and future.

When I woke up yesterday morning, the first day of the Monterey Jazz Festival I discovered that my breast cancer treatment was scheduled for the same day. The one thing that I have discovered on the road to Monterey is that no matter where I am – I am always there.  All is well.

It’s Saturday, September 19, 2015.  Today I headed to Fisherman’s Wharf.  There was a Tsunami of emotional memories that came like a wave of healing that inspired me to expand on this whole idea of moving from Seattle, Washington back to my jazz roots in Monterey.  I am living in the East Bay but BART is my portal back to the 1965 MJF fairgrounds for day two of this year’s festival.

When the idea (in my terms the “melody”) in this case covering the Festival, breast cancer always seems to hit the bottom notes creating my counter melody. So jazz and its’ culture becomes the ambient substrate for me to write harmonic riffs and changes to heal my life and to improvise a way to have the best of both worlds. There are three categories that describe ways which folks approach life. Inner-directed, other-directed and tradition-directed.

Growing up, my father through his music and living style demonstrated and showed me that I am an Inner-directed individual. In my sixty years, I can’t think of any musician, artist or writer who is not. Inner directed people don’t care about anything except what they want to do most! On the other hand I have gone to school and have friends that are other-directed that don’t appear to have a sense of their identity based upon the approval of others or the world around them. In the 70s when I was graduating from college and I tried to make my father happy by going to medical school, the tradition-directed approach would be the best way to describe following the rules that were handed down from my father’s dream for me and past. There were many discordant harmonies that threw me off balance and caused a tremendous amount of conflict, dis-ease and most of all an identity crisis. Don’t you know that mixed chicks don’t fit in anywhere.

Life is not linear even though it is based upon notes that are on a scale. Mindfulness constantly reminds me of how I am feeling. When the melody and rhythm are bathed in jazz form, there is freedom to explore and to live within the discomfort and acceptance brings about healing on all fronts.

This is a prelude to the next segment ~ Riff Words ~ Monterey Jazz, Then & Now on my Kindle…

Live, Laugh and Love
Live, Laugh and Love

© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  eel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

Featured

The Sound I Felt ~ 50 Shades of Monterey Jazz ~ Gear up coz Itz time 2 Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Gil Fuller and the Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra circa 1965 ~ Dizzy Gillespie performing “Man From Monterey”

MJF 20 acre oak_studded fairgrounds
MJF 20 acre oak_studded fairgrounds

The 58th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival will take place at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, located at 2000 Fairground Road in Monterey, California, from September 18-20, 2015. Over 500 artists will be performing nonstop on 8 stages for 3 nights and 2 days of the world’s best jazz.  Voted “World’s Best Jazz Festival” by the readers of JazzTimes Magazine in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2013, the Monterey Jazz Festival offers 20 acres of magnificent oak-studded grounds for fans to enjoy, featuring films, conversations with the Festival’s stars, exhibitions, food and beverages, an international shopping bazaar, and 8 stages of live jazz entertainment spread throughout the grounds.

I am in Baby Boomer Paradise.  Did you know that there are only 65 days till the 58th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival is set to drop cool and outrageous sounds onto the Monterey Penninsula and it has been fifty years since I witnessed the most prolific and spectacular performances by such greats as  Gerald Wilson, Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie.  Pianist Dave Brubeck will also be returning this year. He has played Monterey more than a dozen times, including the first festival in 1958.  MJF always conjures up and brings back such memories of going to all of the rehearsals in Los Angeles and in my eleven year old mind.

 

This is an excerpt from my memoir about the Men From Monterey…

MJFO rehearsal 1965 with Gil Fuller and Dizzy Gillespie preparing for the Album and the Live Performance

MJFO rehearsal 1965 with Gil Fuller and Dizzy Gillespie preparing for the Album and the Live Performance

 

“I’m saying: to be continued, until we meet again. Meanwhile, keep on listening and tapping your feet.” ~   Count Basie
The sunrise cast a warm glow through my picture window early Monday morning.  Dad is sitting at the piano in our living room making last-minute notations for the songs for rehearsal later today.  He is my five a.m. wake up call. I would hear dulcet tones sending a breath of notes across my mind to the beat of my existence.  It was a series of riffs and changes with a syncopated harmonic intent.  It had a rhythm that majestically brought a sense of devotion to each note.  The sound of him hitting each piano key gave the house a mystery, transforming life and setting our house apart from the rest of the houses on Wilton Place.

As we are driving to the rehearsal studio my dad turned to me I gave up traveling with the band so that I could devote myself to my family. I am really excited about getting back into the groove again.   You know Dizzy chose me to serve as music director and conductor for the Orchestra this year. In the ‘40’s I wrote Dizzy’s arrangements . That’s where we met.  Back in the day we played Bebop with folks like Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk.  We were best known for songs like “Manteca”, “Things are Here”, “One Bass Hit” and “Tin Tin Deo”. 

I know that I have offered you guitar lessons, but, being a musician, writer or singer leads to a hard life for you.  I know that you can do anything you want but just not anything creative because traditionally women are not appreciated or respected.  I am telling you this because I am your father.  I really want the best life for you. 

 I went numb.  I look at him hoping that he was joking but he quickly turned away, he is guilty of committing that very tradition in his orchestra.

We rode for the last 20 minutes in silence.    It is deafening.  I am the “native” daughter of the Jazz world in the ‘60’s where the reining tradition was parents (‘rents) had the final word.  I slump down in my seat staring out the window trying to recover.  I feel betrayed.   Deep down inside I always felt like I was a visitor especially when it came to expressing my feelings and even more so in the world.  To me being mixed race or checking the “Other” box is a perfect witness to my life.  My father is a very complicated man of contradictions.  So reading and writing poems became my escape.    It liberated me from the labyrinths of insuperable gender and race biases that tend to dissipate little girls like me.

 

I would hole up in my room for hours overhearing myself admit difficult truths that I could not hide from.  It welcomed creative inspirations into my sensory consciousness.    It gave me the chance to explore and discover the province of sound and words.   I found my rhythm and started writing poems and improvised prose. Mom taught me how to read when I was 3.

 

The rest of the drive to the rehearsal studio felt lonely.  Everything around me seemed to have vanished along with my excitement.  I shifted trying to compose myself.  I wanted to shake myself free from the volcano that just erupted in my soul.  Suddenly breaking my solitude my father proclaimed We Are Here!  My excitement returned.

 

The rehearsal was now under way.  It was an invitation to my imagination renewing my love for writing – cultivating a deep joy in my heart.  The studio fell silent. My father began to motion the count as he tapped his foot.  Calm waves from the alto sax and trombones began to move into the downbeat, the cymbal gently touches the shores of 4/4 time….Dizzy’s cheeks puffed out, his crazy angled trumpet bell releases the sounds of surprise announcing …the  Man from Monterey has arrived.

Ralph Gleason from the Chronicle summed up the day’s session perfectly on the album’s liner notes… Gleason wrote The 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival music clearly is designed to last.  This amalgam of the talents of Gillespie and Fuller are insurance that it will. The orchestra played the music at this session for all time, which is the way good jazz is always played.

 

I had fallen in love with jazz sound and words, even though I thought I had to keep it a secret.   I credit discovering my inner voice when I am immersed in the mindfulness of the sound and creation of jazz music that was rehearsed at that session.  Now when I am facing cancer trials and tribulations and experiencing secondary breast cancer symptoms, I write.  When I am grateful for the wonders of life and God’s and the Universe’s grace and blessings, I write.  When I am weary and discouraged, I write. The 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival was not only a major league Game Changer.  It was the wake up call that Breast Cancer manifested to heal my soul and my life.  Peace & Love Out!  JBC   😎 & >3.

Symbol of Love
Symbol of Love

© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  eel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

The Sound I Felt on a Poet’s Beat ~! What I Have Learned So Far by Mary Oliver ~ “I’m in the Mood for Love” ~ Gil Fuller & Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra featuring James Moody

BeachResortMonterey Courtesy of Herecomestheguide[dot]com

 

 

What I Have Learned So Far

By Mary Oliver

Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I
not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside,
looking into the shining world? Because, properly
attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.
Can one be passionate about the just, the
ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit
to no labor in its cause? I don’t think so.

All summations have a beginning, all effect has a
story, all kindness begins with the sown seed.
Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of
light is the crossroads of — indolence, or action.

Be ignited, or be gone.

 

It has been two weeks since I arrived in California.  I started out around 2 pm from Seattle after finalizing and checking out of my apartment.  My car was packed to the gills with a small space to see out of my rearview mirror.  The housing situation is horrific everywhere.  Homelessness has become such a major concern for American life.  I oftentimes wonder how it has come to this.  It is not bad enough that unemployment, affordable housing and the American Dream are now things that have been lost or redefined over the past decades.  It has gotten so bad that Social Services are buckling under the strain of trying to provide services.  Today I am moving into unknown territory. I no longer look to see what I saw yesterday. And the future is moments away. I am working toward getting a better understanding of the fact that I am not able to change anything, but maybe I can influence it by adopting a positive attitude. It is like moving into a new apartment.  But the drawback is that you have to physically be there in order to secure it.  Everything is new and the neighborhood is different, the people are different and it is just a matter of adjusting to the new environment. I never made the connection with a new day. I realize that this is a fresh start, because what happened yesterday is gone. If I hold onto what happened yesterday, it deprives me from seeing today and all spontaneity is lost. We must trust ourselves to be able to live in the present moment and experience the joy of not knowing what possibilities could be. Nothing is written in stone.  If we continue to rely on past experiences, good, bad or indifferent, that impedes personal growth and expansion. We must become tired of re-living and playing tapes of things that happened in the past because it cannot be rewritten. They are just there and we are the only ones that give memories and thoughts the breath of life in the present moment.  It makes me feel as though I am a prisoner of my own life. So just for today, I am going to see what is new, and when those past thoughts, notions and ideas present themselves I will acknowledge them, but I will not let it affect how I am seeing things today. I am ready to receive and give the love, joy and gratitude that God has given me today. Peace OutMemorial Day is on Monday, May 25th, which was my mother’s birthday and my father died on May 26th so he would not die on her birthday.  This year I am going to celebrate their lives and how they were a positive influence and added meaning to my life.  Memorial Day is no longer a sad and depressing day, it has given me a new sense of purpose and meaning which to that end is what I have learned so far….  Peace & Love Out!  JBC 😎 & ❤

Follow-your-dreams.-They-know-the-way Courtesy of Verybestquotes[dot]com
Follow-your-dreams.-They-know-the-way Courtesy of Verybestquotes[dot]com
© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  eel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

How I found the Courage 2 Follow the Sound I Felt 2 Live the Life that is Waiting For Me featuring Gil Fuller & The Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra with Dizzy Gillespie and James Moody “Man From Monterey”

LoneCypressTree_Courtesy of CPattas Family Holiday
LoneCypressTree_Courtesy of CPattas Family Holiday

“I firmly believe the key difference between living a life fulfilled and a life of status quo is courage.  Unless we find the courage to follow our Heart’s Wisdom – the wisdom of our Highest Self —the wisdom of our Highest Self—we may never know the fullest joy that the Universe has in store for us.” ~ Valerie Rickel

 

Last night I prayed to have the strength and courage to make this life change and to move to California.  I received my answer @ 3 am.  I got up and made my cappuccino and went to check my email.  I found Valerie Rickel’s article “The Courage to Change” on Daily Soul Retreat.  This proves Paul Coelho’s “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

From my experience, timing is the key to life and jazz.  I am donating the last vestiges of furniture to a charity, and I will pack up my car and drive looking towards the fulfillment of my dream.  Just as Valerie conveys, the never looking back thing would refer to the resistances I have experienced that included over thinking, and those who thought I was absolutely out of my mind.  It indeed has been a battle of fear and liberating myself to do the second most courageous thing I have done in my entire life.  I am finishing what my mother and I originally started twelve years ago and to not complete the dream meant that my mother died in vain.

I have spent the last year visualizing and clarifying my dream it was the necessary spiritual maturity that gave me a deep, rock solid faith and knowing deep down in my heart that completing my journey would bring about something wonderful that has been the sound I felt when the dream was first planted.  But like Cheryl Strayed‘s memoir “Wild” who embarked on here Pacific Crest Trail trek, there are inherent dangers that will present themselves but the ability of mindfulness improvisation is all the preparation I will need.  Truth be told, I trust and firmly believe that the still small voice will lead and provide the strength into the life that is waiting for me. Man From Monterey was an arrangement that my father wrote in 1965 that is the sound I felt and became my dream.

I have not heeded the sound in my heart for over twelve years because of my broken heart and wanting to regain the loss that left such a void in my heart.  When I meditated and called upon my memories, I have made this decision three other times in my life.  It was my grief that had a toehold on my heart and not wanting to make a decision because of being in the midst of my grief.  Seattle has been a safe haven and has given me experiences that convinced me that if I settle for this existing state of affairs where I am on the brink of homelessness and broke because I have not been able to find part-time work to supplement my disability benefits, I would have given up on my dreams and myself and my potential of never realizing the fullest and happiest life.

I believe that we all have this inner knowing and understanding that resides deep in our souls and heart.  And fitting in I know that I tried not to display my unhappiness.  But I have discovered what the consequence of not following our deepest desire caused me to self medicate with alcohol and to give up.  However, when I stopped self medicating and went back to mindfulness meditation I could hear my father, mother and inner self tell me that I had to live a meaningful and purposeful life.  That is what God’s plan was for me.

Here is a wonderful and inspiring video that helped me to find the courage to want to live my truth and follow it’s wisdom called The Dream of Life.

Thank you Valerie for imparting the encouragement to call upon that inner wisdom and truth that lies in all of our hearts that opened my heart up to want to make this move.  I look forward to the Afterglow that you describe when I get to my destination and will continue to “discover the many wondrous gifts and possibilities that the Universe has in store for me.  I wish this to everyone!  Blessings and Peace & Love Out!  JBC 😎 & <3.

Symbol of Love
Symbol of Love

© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  eel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

A Taste 4 Jazz ~ An OMG Super Mack Vegan Dish ~” Tofu That Taste Good Stir Fry” by Minimalist Baker featuring Jazz Classical Crossings “Come Sunday”

Tofu that tastes awesome
Tofu that tastes awesome

As I am preparing to move next month, it is important that I find simple and awesome recipes because it’s tax time and there are a lot of loose ends that I need to tie up.  I came across The Minimalist Baker a few years ago and it is simply a divine site.   My first encounter with tofu really began ten years ago, but I never knew how to prepare it.  When I was at a vegan restaurant, I remember an acquaintance called it “Scary Food”.  It just meant that they never had the opportunity to taste it when it was properly prepare.  The raw version stated like I was eating a cellulose sponge.  Here is the MB’s first take on the subject of Tofu.

I remember the first time I tried tofu. It was raw in a whole grain wrap along with some mustard and veggies and I honestly couldn’t finish it. And when it comes to food I’m a trooper. I’ll finish just about anything as I hate wasting food. But, tofu did not strike my fancy from the start and it’s never really been my favorite, even in my hardcore vegetarian days.

But, that all changed recently during a trip to San Antonio when I ate the best tofu of my life. It was in a veggie stir fry over coconut brown rice at a restaurant called Green Vegetarian Cuisine. If you’re ever in the area you must stop by and try this dish. Your view of tofu will be forever changed – promise.  Bon Appétit!

PREP TIME

15 mins

COOK TIME

45 mins

TOTAL TIME

1 hour

A tofu-veggie stir fry made tasty with a simple technique that gives the tofu perfect texture and flavor. Serve over rice or on its own for a healthy and delicious weeknight meal. Feeds 2-3.

Author: Minimalist Baker

Recipe type: Stir Fry

Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free

Serves: 2-3

INGREDIENTS

  • For the Stir Fry
  • 1 14-ounce package firm or extra firm tofu
  • 2 cups roughly chopped green beans
  • 1 cup diced carrots or red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil for sautéing (or sub peanut or coconut)
  • For the Sauce
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce (make sure it’s gluten free if G-Free)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp agave, maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and begin drying your tofu. Drain, remove it from the package and place between two thick towels folded into the shape of the tofu. Then place a plate or bowl on top and top it with something heavy like a book or skillet.
  2. Let it dry for about 15 minutes, changing your towels if they get too wet. Once dry, chop into roughly 1-inch cubes or rectangles (see photo).
  3. Arrange tofu on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet to prevent sticking and bake for a total of 25-35 minutes, flipping once halfway through to ensure even cooking. This will dry out the tofu and help give it a more meat-like texture. If you want a tougher texture, cook it for 30-35. For a slightly more tender texture, pull it out at 20-25 minutes to check.
  4. Once it’s golden brown and a bit tough and firm, remove from the oven set it out to dry a bit more while you prep your vegetables. Ideally, it would set out another 45 minutes or even longer. I haven’t tried letting it set out for much longer, but I don’t think it would hurt either way.
  5. If serving over rice, start the rice at this point.
  6. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients – set aside.
  7. To a large skillet over medium-high heat, add sesame oil and swirl to coat. Then add veggies and toss to coat. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often. When the vegetables have some color and have softened a bit, add the sauce and stir. It should bubble and thicken. Then add the tofu and stir to coat.
  8. Cook the mixture for 3-5 minutes, stirring often. When veggies are cooked to your preferred doneness, remove from heat. Serve as is or over rice for a more filling meal. Best when eaten fresh, though will keep in the refrigerator for a couple days.

NOTES

*Nutrition reflects 2 servings without rice.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Serving size: 1/2 recipe Calories: 371 Fat: 19g Saturated fat: 3g Carbohydrates: 38gSugar: 23g Sodium: 1500mg Fiber: 6g Protein: 16g

live life to the fullest quotes (2)

© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  eel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

The Sound I Felt ~ Finding my Way To A Life Imagined ~ Featuring James Moody performing “17 Mile Drive”

Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur Courtesy of kgapproved
Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur Courtesy of kgapproved

If we could learn to live from the level of the soul, we would see that the best, most luminous part of ourselves is connected to all the rhythms of the Universe.” Deepak Chopra

I love living on the level of my soul because all of my fears and anxiety evaporate.  I hear 17 Mile Drive playing on my car stereo. The conga begins kicking into gear and my heart follows suit.  The horns move in with an immense flourish of sound like the waves messaging the shore.  The ocean is blue in reflection of the sky.  No clouds, just an azure blue that awashes my soul with jazz, James Moody begins blowing changes that take me out of my anxiety.  The resistance from childhood that have pent up negative emotions release me from the prison without windows.  My ego is the warden.  I ignore my ego moving past any and all limitations of my mind that hints of cancer and all things related to outcomes and situations in my world.   The orchestra signals the future is now.  The horns and rhythm syncopation is aligning with the waves in the ocean.  I hear the entire orchestra and the timbre of each instrument cannot be heard without the punctuation of silence.  Debussy described it as Music is the space between the notes.  I am filled with infinite stillness as I drive navigating the salacious curves of the road.  I am suspended in the soul of jazz.

Each of us sees and listens to the world in a different way.  And what we perceive is what determines our inner experience.  The resistance of all the negative emotions binds us and in my case becomes a physical phenomenon.  When I look in my rearview mirror I let go of all perceptions and emotionalized somatizations choosing to see things in a whole new light. The breeze gently caresses my face.

Moody enters with a flourish of expressing his experiences and emotions in that particular moment.  Yoga has taught me that this feeling is a connection to the energy of the sea.  I am a spirit energy that can take on the appearance of an individual.  I am in a place where I am the inner witness. Tears of joy flood my eyes bursting with sound energy that connects to 1965 memories of the Riots and the Monterey Jazz festivities and events that are constantly being recycled, renewed and are played over and over again.

The events that have occurred in my life no matter how much of a mess I believe them to be, I am searching for the Truth that resides in my soul and it is universal.  Starting each day anew I find that listening to jazz symbolizes an opening to the mystery that Maslow describes as the peak experience.  As I round the last curve the orchestra responds to Moody’s improvisation and reaches a crescendo signaling the limitless wonders are coming full circle and the ending by complimenting the continuous sound that merge into the beginning.  Igor Stravinsky said it best…   “I am in the present. I cannot know what tomorrow will bring forth. I can know only what the truth is for me today. That is what I am called upon to serve, and I serve it in all lucidity.”  On that note, I have crossed the threshold and am taking full responsibility for the life that God gave me.  Is there a song that gives you moments of infinite stillness?  Life is a celebration.  I am preparing for returning to Monterey and celebrating the fifty shades of living the life that is waiting for me….  I am prepared to give my heart to loving life as it appears and all those that come into it.  Peace and Love Out!  JBC 😎 & <3.

hope faith & love

© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  eel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

A Taste 4 Jazz ~ Going 4 da Secret of Life w/ Delicious Vegetarian Bon Appétit recipe for Brown Rice Mujadarra with Mixed Herbs featuring Al Di Meola’s “Mediterranean Sundance”

Secret of Life

As spring is in the air, I am preparing for the biggest spiritual adventure of my life.  My eighth time getting up.  The last I am sure.  I am moving back to Northern California in May and it is an answer to a calling that has resided in my soul since 1965.  I have cleared most of my apartment and standing in my kitchen where most of the items I have donated am left with basics.  One of the fears I am addressing today is that “I will go hungry”.  So, I have ventured into the remaining items in my cupboard and found Lentil/Brown Rice meal.  No meat, just minimal seasonings and caramelized onions but oh so delicious.  Give it a try.  You will be pleasantly surprised, I was.  I love guitar even though I lost my ability in 1990 when I lost feeling in my fingers due to my neuropathy that temporarily paralyzed me but woke me up like a Stroke that took my father’s life and that after a prolonged chemotherapy treatment dimmed my mother’s ability to speak and took her life on Mother’s Day 2003.  No regrets, just the anticipation of  Life’s Mystery…. Blessings & Love,  JBC  😎 & >3

Brown Rice Mujadarra With Mixed Herbs

Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

herbed-brown-rice-muhadarra-940x560

Ingredients

SERVINGS: 4

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1 cup French green or brown lentils, rinsed
  • bay leaf
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced, plus more for serving
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 cup fresh mixed tender herbs (such as mint, parsley, and/or cilantro), chopped, divided
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)

IN THE MIX…

  • Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add rice, lentils,, and bay leaf and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until rice and lentils are tender, 35–45 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let sit 5–10 minutes (there should still be some broth remaining). Discard bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Set rice mixture aside.
  • Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cumin seeds and toss to coat. Cook, stirring often and adding water to pan as needed to prevent burning, until onions are golden brown and soft, 20–25 minutes.
  • Mix half of onion mixture and half of herbs into rice mixture; season with salt and pepper. Top mujadarra with yogurt, remaining onion mixture, and remaining herbs, and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

live laugh and love

© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  eel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

 

The Sound I felt ~ Listening 2 Get a Better Understanding of the Universe Within ~ featuring Body & Soul by Roberto Menescal

Infinite Universe Courtesy of fractaledgalaxies
Infinite Universe Courtesy of fractaledgalaxies

“…We are listening to our fear of life and death, our lack of faith, our smaller ego’s will to prevail. To listen to the soul is to stop fighting with life—to stop fighting when things fall apart; when they don’t go our way, when we get sick, when we are betrayed or mistreated or misunderstood. To listen to the soul is to slow down, to feel deeply, to see ourselves clearly, to surrender to discomfort and uncertainty, and to wait.”  Elizabeth Lesser Broken Open 

From the first sound I heard, I began a journey to explore and develop the ability to discern the timbre of music, noise and the sounds of daily life.  I really wish that I was encouraged to listen to the Light within better and to trust it.  My world was a culturally mixed world. In 1962 I remember our family vacations staying with Norman, my maternal Great Grandfather who was a Native American from Upstate New York and my Nana during our summers in New York.  I stayed with them in their lovely spacious three story brownstone in Crown Heights on President Street while going to a YMCA day camp.   Norman would tell me stories about finding and hearing “My inner light” and how that light was something that I should learn to listen to and to trust.  My father believed differently and frowned and discouraged me from listening to that “Crazy Indian”.  It wasn’t until recently, some fifty years later, I reconnected and began hearing my Inner Spirit ~ that “Still Small Voice”.  I know this now coz we are all searching for the truth in our hearts and experiencing our intuitive self-expression.  We  crave a deeper understanding of life, ourselves as well as of one another.  In jazz, listening was the portal to experiencing life through:  Rhythm, style, arrangement, sound, forms, arrangement and improvisation.  Listening intentionally makes the sounds of life come true.  Hearing is the foyer to listening in the parlor, where self-analysis leads to a better understanding of yourself and others.  I had a conversation the other day and it felt as though they were not listening.  I could tell from the questions they asked.  It has become commonplace and superficial in its nature.  Your voice is not heard because of the weeds that grow out of only hearing, and not engaging.  It is a symphony of cacophony.  The sounds at the end of the day left me feeling barren and alone.  I befriended my voice in my head, only to hear how sterile and contrived it had become.  It was a conspiracy of nay-sayers that can bring only darkness to the light.  Hard hearted they come and crowd my voice from my soul.  It is only temporary and can turn on me at any given moment.  Illusion personified by benign neglect.  Reading aloud in a language you cannot speak.   To have ears, that had become defended by the madness of society.  Rationalizing the sounds in an attempt to make sense of something it will never possess.  Now it has broken open the illusion of the life I have lived.   Here is a free verse poem I wrote about “Listening to the Life Within”.  Can you feel and hear the liminal spaces of our lives?  Blessing to you all and have a super weekend.  Till the next sound…Peace & Love Out!  JBC 😎

 

Listening to the Life Within

By Jannat Marie

Life’s cadence moved clouds.

tonality and voicing askew.

Began as a thought.

Rhythm  assigned to scented beats.

A picture in a thousand chords

Reveals culture’s war

emerging over time “freeing” the heat

flavored by emotional riffs.

Listening in seasoning thyme

Tasting metaphors and memories

hot crusted timbre singing

a cry of desperation.

Feeling the sounds glorious sun

seeing the warm breeze of acoustic phrases

offering forgiveness

Hearing life’s rhythm in 4/4 time

senses filled with harmony

where meeting counterpoint to point

at the synergy of knowing

equality of rights anoint

Dancing in darkness

becomes a conspiracy of

living your truth.

live life to the fullest quotes (2)

© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  eel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

 

A Taste 4 Jazz ~ EZ PZ Mack Vegan “Surf Shack Tacos” Courtesy of Yummly featuring “Beyond My Dreams” ~ Aircraft 72

Gear Up Jazz Foodie Fans coz Surf’s Up ~They say you can take the chick out of the beach but you can’t take the beach out of the chick.  That sums up what I love in life besides jazz, God’s good graces, hope, faith, awesome food and to live each day to the fullest. Bon Appétite!  Peace & Love Out!  JBC 😎 & ❤

Surf Shack Tacos

Surf Shack tacos

This dinner is unbelievably quick – theres no almost no prep (and if you quick soak that cashews, there is NO prep at all). If you like your soft tacos warm don’t make the initial mistake I did and heat them in the oven – they don’t get crispy, they get chewy and unpleasant. Just give them a quick warm up in the microwave. Make sure the very last thing you do for prep is to fry the tofu – they lose heat quickly and they are just so tasty and crispy when warm.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Cashews
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 tablespoons Almond Milk + 1/2 cup Almond Milk
  • 1 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tablespoon Agave Nectar
  • 2-3 teaspoons Sriracha (depending on taste)
  • 1 block Firm Tofu, sliced into 8 pieces
  • 3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3/4 cup Panko
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt + pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/2 Lime
  • 10 chopped Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Corn
  • 1 bunch Cilantro
  • 3-4 radishes
  • 1/4 Cabbage
  • 1 knob Coconut Oil + 1/2 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 4 Corn Tortillas

Instructions

  1. Over night, or for 20 minutes in hot water, soak the cashews.
  2. In a saute pan, at medium heat knob of coconut oil and cook corn and tomatoes on low heat until warm but not soggy.
  3. While corn and tomatoes are cooking, mix soaked cashews, 2 tablespoons almond milk, sriracha, agave nectar, nutritional yeast and a pinch of salt until creamy.
  4. Slice radishes, cabbage, avocado and set aside.
  5. if desired, microwave corn tortillas until warm.
  6. Mix flour, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in one bowl and place 1/2 cup almond milk in another.
  7. In a deep sauté pan heat 1/4 cup coconut oil until a drop of water pops out of it, but not so hot that it smokes.
  8. Dip each slice of tofu in the almond milk and then in the flour mixture until fully covered. Drop into sauté pan of coconut oil and fry until golden. Remove and place on a plate with a paper towel to collect oil. Squeeze lime juice on each slice.
  9. When all tofu is cooked, assemble each taco with some of the corn and tomatoes, slices of radishes, avocado, cabbage. Place two slices of tofu inside and garnish with cilantro. Drizzle the cashew sriracha sauce on top.

© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  eel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.