Here’s to Possibility!

by Jason on August 3, 2009 · 5 comments

in Recording, Thoughts

“Is this to end or just begin?” – Robert Plant, “All of My Love”

As I mentioned in my last post, after close to a year of planning and execution my new CD with the Jason Parker Quartet is now complete. And as happy as I am about that, it leaves me in a new position – or rather a position that has come back around. I am now left once again at the beginning.

The beginning is exciting. The possibilities are endless. My next record could be anything. It could be another straight-ahead jazz session with my current band. It could be a recording of my latest project, Clave Nagila. It could be a polka album with me singing and playing accordion. Ok, probably not that last one, but you never know!

So how do I choose? Which way should I go?

The Big Questions

All of this has lead me to ask the big questions. What do I want to say? Who do I want to be? It’s these questions that keep artists up at night…maybe you’ve asked yourself these questions at 3am too?

But this is the nature of the artist’s life. Just like all life, it is a cycle of beginnings and endings. As soon as one project is completed, we must start a new one. Sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down in the possibilities, but I try to keep in mind that every beginning is an opportunity. It’s a chance to dig deeper into past themes or try new things. A chance to further expand upon my persona or completely reinvent myself. Isn’t that exciting? Isn’t that why we create art in the first place?


I have no answers about what my next project will look and sound like. But I’m excited to be at the beginning of the cycle again with that great tabula rasa stretched out in front of me. Here’s to possibility!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Nate Trier August 3, 2009 at 11:39 am

That’s great, congrats! Sounds great so far!

I’m just wrapping up an experimental project right now, and it feels great to finally get it done – but after that I’ll be moving to the next project that’s 90% done, repeat ad infinitum!

And maybe your next project should be tuba-trumpet duets? You could call it…[dramatic pause]…tubala rasa? Heyoo! 🙂

Great blog, thanks for the tweets!

Andrew Oliver August 3, 2009 at 8:56 pm

When I was at the Banff Workshop this spring, Dave Douglas, answering this very same question, said “In my experience, as soon as you are done with one project, you should be already starting the next. Well, it’s OK to have a beer and listen through the record when it comes out, but only for one evening, then on to the next one!”

Twitter: 1WorkinMusician
August 3, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Tubala rasa? Wow… 😉

Andrew…guess I better grab that beer and get to work!

Banff sounds like an amazing hang!

Jim Holmberg August 10, 2009 at 2:45 pm

I read your comment on the WSJ article about the demise of Jazz and had to check out your blog. Pretty cool.

I have been trying to find a financial way to open a jazz club in San Diego, before all the old masters pass away. Designed in such a way that it is around the stage rather than the stage off to the side or in the corner and acoustically set up for recording of the sessions. I have to work around the ABCto allow kids to come in for “learning” sessions that aren’t academicized.

The turning of jazz into an academic study has hurt it in the “cool” audiences eyes.


Twitter: 1WorkinMusician
August 10, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Thanks for stopping by, Jim! Glad you found the blog.

You should talk to David at Lucid Jazz Lounge here in Seattle ( He has been able to do what you are talking about with his club and can probably shed some insight on how he’s pulled it off. Good luck! We need more clubs with owners who “get it”.

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