The Undiscovered Few
I thought that it might be of interest to give you an insight into the nature and origin of the music on the new cd 'The Journey of Soul". These notes were a part of the liner notes of my Bluenote Records CD "The Undiscovered Few". In re-reading them, there was a resonance that gently nudged me to published them here. Your questions and/or comments are most welcome.
The Journey of Soul
This CD represents the completion of one journey and the beginning of another. My journey began many years ago when I was first touched by the magic within music. As a young child of 6 or seven I remember sitting underneath an old cabinet style record player. I would listen and dream. I would find myself transported to a different place. A world of freedom and adventure. A world of mystery and love. Music touched my heart and the fire grew within me to want to play the guitar. The love and the wonder of music are why I started playing. They are the reasons I play today.
Many persons live within these songs. Each composition rests upon the shoulders of many who through their sweat, discipline, love and talent left footprints upon my heart, Dreams inside my mind, Light shining upon my eyes and the echoes of Sound within my ears.
So what is the Undiscovered Few? The Undiscovered Few are those principles, those elements that form the keystone for each persons existence. Each of us seeks to find a way to make it in this world. To give meaning to the events of life. To have a matrix or prism through which to interpret the experience of living in order that it has purpose. Each of us is on a journey to somewhere. Where are we going? Why are we going there? And what happens when we get there are three questions that everyone consciously or unconsciously is trying to answer. This music reflects my own answers. The specifics for each person will be different but the questions remain true for all.
This CD is built upon 4 principles, which I discovered, was given, shown, awakened to. All of these descriptions apply.
1. A desire to know myself:
As far back as I can remember I wanted to know what I was doing here. Why was I born in this place at this time to these parents? Why did I love music, the color blue? These questions haunted and fascinated me. At around age ten I went on a mission to get some answers to these questions. This search lasted many years. It drove me to experience life deeply. I learned an important lesson: It is the effort and lessons learned during the search that yield the gifts of wisdom not the destination for with every arrival the horizon recedes and there is always another step to take.
2. The experience of finding myself:
This was truly a remarkable experience. With it came immense happiness. Charlie "Bird" Parker said, "If you don't live it it won't come out of your horn." After years of study and practice upon my instrument I found myself musically, After years of prayer and meditation, I discovered the HU (pronounced Hue), an ancient love song or chant used to open up the individual to the creative flow of Spirit. I found this HU sound to be the seed sound or primary sound behind all sounds, all music. It gave my music a strong foundation and opened my heart to a wellspring of love from which I could draw inspiration.
3. Being Myself
Being myself was and is perhaps the most difficult aspect of the Undiscovered Few. Playing and living from that perfect balance of the head and the heart at all times. Playing what I feel while blending with what the other musicians are feeling. These are the elements of Mastery. Martin Luther King, John Coltrane, Lawrence Jones, Paul Twitchell, Lena Horne, Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery, Sri Harold Klemp, Charlie Parker, Debussy and countless others. They have mastered this fine sweet balance.
4. Giving Yourself - Serving all life
I found that being myself was just the beginning. Growth is a continous process. This requires resonating with the primary cause of all. Call it Spirit, God, the creative force the title doesn't matter what does matter Is that we learn the ways that IT speaks to us and tune in. We must learn to listen to the still small voice that is within each of us. The fountain from which all music and all life flows. Great artists continue to grow and re-invent themselves. Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Lena Horne come to mind as individuals whom have set a high example for their willingness to embrace the new in an effort to grow personally, mentally and spiritually.
These songs are like so many windows that surround the Soul. Each express's a piece of my journey. Each reflects the light of the musical diamonds in my life that are connected like pieces of a puzzle and which when complete reveal my heart and Soul. Those are the principles of The Undiscovered Few. My Undiscovered Few. I wish you much joy on your road to discover your own Undiscovered Few.
Rodney Jones, New York City, August 2007