pro advice

The great actor Michael Caine offered some wisdom on facing challenges.

Stay fresh by taking a tip from actor Michael Caine when facing challenges.

When I was a kid, there were paths one was expected to follow. Most of us graduated high school, then it was a job, college, or the military. I seem to remember a shocking amount of my peers having clearly defined goals, with elaborate 10-step plans laid out in two-year increments. Their unyielding paths sounded like a prison sentence to me, and yet, I was terrified not knowing what to do or where to do it.

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A positive attitude won’t fix your problems, but accepting things as they are is a good start.

I did not enjoy the transition from childhood to adulthood. Going from a loving, nurturing home to an indifferent and, at times, seemingly cruel real world was not a good fit for me. My freshman year in college, I was adrift, scared, and, occasionally, what I now recognize as clinically depressed. Out of desperation, I took a philosophy course to get some answers. There, I read Nietzsche’s book, The Gay Science (perhaps the greatest title ever), and learned the phrase amor fati, which is Latin for “love of one’s fate.”

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Photo by Andrea Boccalini

The jazz bassist returns to share the four fundamental things that every bassist should work on.

Last month, I had the immense pleasure of speaking with New York upright-bass extraordinaire Scott Colley. Over the last 40 years, Scott has played in all kinds of amazing situations led by some of the most celebrated names in jazz, including Herbie Hancock, Abbey Lincoln, Pat Metheny, Michael Brecker, Andrew Hill, Chris Potter, Roy Hargrove, Dave Binney, Carmen McRae, Joshua Redman, and so many others. Naturally, we had so much to discuss that one article just wasn’t enough (see last month for the first part of this interview). This portion focuses on more bass-specific questions from that same interview.

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