Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Problem. Incubation. A-ha!

This is a simple story. I was improvising on the tune “Jeepers Creepers” when I stumbled into a passage that sounded familiar. I had some vague association of it as a tune by Benny Goodman, but couldn’t find it in any of my fake books. As these things do, it was driving me crazy, “What the heck is the name of the tune?” I asked another jazz aficionado and he couldn’t place it and now it was driving him crazy.

So as you do, you just let it go and then it slips below the surface in seem deep, mysterious layer of the sub-conscious, where it gets turned over out of sight and out of mind. And then you’re walking from your car to your house and suddenly the words “Slipped Disc!” rise up triumphantly like a champion swimmer too long underwater and bursting to the surface to get a breath.

And there it was. Benny Goodman’s “Slipped Disc.” I even remembered which fake book it was in—my old re-bound first one that some insane person decided to not make alphabetical, but at least had an alphabetic index, now faded into a dangerous barely readable list of page numbers. But there it was and just as I remembered it.

Two punch-lines:

“Problem. Incubation. A-ha!” That’s how the most interesting work gets done.

And the mind. It is simply forever incomprehensible, enigmatic, unfathomable, working according to its own ungraspable process. But if you follow the above formula, it rarely lets you down.

Now where did I put those keys?

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