All I need is someone whose daddy is rich and whose mama's goodlooking...

I know it's been a while since my last newsletter but i've been on a range of musical missions since then which included writing and recording some pieces for a movie, touring with Steve Newman and Ashish Joshi and putting some material together for the new Gordon's Suitcase album while working on finishing touches to the new Strings & Skins house-lounge-kitchen remix of 'Passages in Time'- a truly refreshing and energetic collaboration with DJ Chresos and his team. Feb will see the start of the new VIVID AFRIKA album with McCoy Mrubata and myself co-writing  the material and working it with our top flight line-up of Wynand vd Walt on drums, Siya Makuzeni on vocals and trombone, Ashish Joshi on tabla and percussion and Mlungisi Gegana on double bass. I have also laid down some juicy oud and oudtar tracks for a spicy Arabic dance album with long time friend and colleague, Neil Solomon. It all sounds busy and yummy especially now at the beginning of the year when things are usually more sluggish and not so éscarGO!

Yep gimme summer anytime (a totally different song to summertime) and I feel more alive and operative ...all I need is someone whose daddy is rich and whose mama's goodlooking...but wait that's the other song and that set-up always sounded like a disaster waiting to happen...thank goodness the fish are jumpin ..or one could get seriously bored!
For me, each day begins with music excersizes on my various instruments. I would lie if i said I have no favourites.. but they change from day to day depending on what i'm it may be oud on one day, bouzouki, guitar,oudtar or sarod on another..or just a rod, reel and some intoxicating country air on yet another. Imagination...a heluva thing, seems to be the active ingredient no matter what is going down. Now i'm not saying that I have 'it' or that if one does have 'it' then it's going to be a dynamic,fresh, usefull and entertaining aspect of any prevailing activities...but one often hears that one can go as far as ones imagination....I wonder just how far that is sometimes.

It seems that ones imagination needs to be challenged, expanded and fed on an ongoing basis in order for it to grow. Imagining that one is dreaming is far more usefull than dreaming that one is imagining... whatever...I suppose that is why I play a bunch of instruments...they tend to cross -pollinate each other in spirit and technique resulting in seemingly endless tides of ideas..the food of imagination. I reckon one should take ones imagination out for a regular brisk walk on the wild side and then let it off the leash and hope it bites you first when it gets excited!..Of course, bumping into a few others taking theirs for a walk sure helps and pretty soon, if one is lucky, all those unleashed imaginations will start to exhibit pack behaviour and go on the hunt ...this is where things get really exciting...I suppose I just love collaborating and playing with various musicians whose imaginations come from different kennels but exhibit the same trait of easily returning to the wild when set chihuahuas please! 'Imagination' aint no lapdog that one has to carry around, but rather the type that drags you around all over the place till you have to let it loose! Now i'm also not saying that chihuahuas can't do that thing...but it will take quite some imagination eh!...Jonathan Livingstone Chihuahua!
Well it all comes down to this,.... if you see me taking my imagination for a walk, be cool, join in and throw a stick for it!....better still, bring your imagination along and let's have some fun!...
Cya on da wild side