My personal Queen of Jaaazzz. Working with Ann Caldwell, besides being a great influence on me in music, she has brought me a calmness and composure I had never seen in myself before, thanks to how she shows up to herself and us, the other musicians. The first rehearsal in the back room of her home, that oozed Mojo (with a capital M), the colours she uses everywhere I looked, the plants that grow with such ease in and outside and everything that is normally stagnant in someone else’s home, seemed to simply be alive with love and care. The sun that shines into the house made sure to bring all beautiful fragrance to its fullest life. Giving energy and love to all that was there. If learning to live in the now were to be taught to me again, this place in time would be the perfect first lesson. And for that matter of fact, the only one needed. I remember being very taken by this in admiration, and could as well be in tears within an instant. How one can be so transpiring. In all things. Being, connecting by touch, words, projection, intention, calmness, conscious awareness, placement of things, …being oneself. I had a namaste moment from the deepest source and this still remains fresh in my mind. Upon our arrival, I had hoped to find these kinds of things in America. But, one is never aware of how good something tastes until we savour them for ourselves. And often it’s better than what we had hoped for. And I believe it’s precisely these awaking moments we live for. Unaware to my native good friends and musicians of the South East, I was sitting during the rehearsal playing the guitar to what was “the perfect connection between me and the Soul Jazz music one could only hope to play”, honing in on this moment hoping that time would just slow down for a bit. Even just for one moment. Let me just capture this. But, I already was. I would wake and realize I happen to be invited into that room with the incredible musicians that very fresh sunny morning. After we were done and the band left, I hung out in the kitchen area, with my new friend Ann I just met and simply couldn’t get enough of this marvellous human being I just met. I just couldn’t get myself to say goodbye. You know that moment well when you just… don’t want to say goodbye, or at least, I didn’t want to. She seemed humoured by my presence. I knew I was perhaps overstaying my welcome, and yet, reading her well, I felt I had not exceeded it or would have acted accordingly. My guitar gear already stood outside in the front yard ready to be loaded back into my car and was telling me, common Tommy, lets gooo!!! As it had done many times before. As the time passed and the shows happened, having only had beautiful moments to share with her, the few that we have, it nevertheless, left an incredibly powerful and peaceful imprint on my life till today. And having just seen this picture again of a night, eight years ago, it seems, where she came out to a show not per se as an entertainer to just have a good time and see the band play we were backing her up with at the time, it just now sparked that same calmness and composure I had never seen in myself before I encountered you, beautiful soul. And maybe unaware to you, but, what a privilege you are to us. From far away, yet close; To you, my beautiful, playful friend! Yours, Tommy.
And to all of us living, hold on to the good moments in life as we only have 24 hours in the day. Allow yourself this quality time. Whether it’s waking up, opening the door and breath the fresh air and hold on to that moment in the now looking at the sky. Or simply standing putting gas in your car and having a moment of joy, for no particular reason. Just for the sake of being happy. Joyful. Saying hello to a stranger with a smile for no particular reason but to spread joy and happiness and make today count and enjoy the colours that are given. Do that for yourself. You deserve that and owe it to yourself and the universe.
Your boy, Tommyboiii !
PEACE, y’all !