John Voigt

My Jazz Story

Published on: 2019-03-19

On September 17, 2005 I was playing bass in a small park in downtown New York City with some of the best avant-garde jazz musicians ever. The star of the evening was violinist Billy Bang. That night Bang took over: he was conducting, he was bringing friends up to sit in with the band, he was disappearing into the bushes with beautiful women from the audience. Angry band leader, Jemeel Moondoc, decided to throw me into a musical duel with him. But I was in difficult straights: Bang was arguably the best string player in jazz--his bow technique is killer good. And I was on bass (big-awkward) and Bang was on violin (small- -facile). Always a gentleman, Bang thought he would start this musical contest by taking it easy with me before musically crushing me. He played a singing high jazzy phrase that made the people in front of us begin to dance. I used a Daoist chi kung trick I knew and moved my fear out of my sexual chakra into my hands; my bow began to glow with energy. I watched and listened as I unbelievably soared above him (me on the much lower bass). I took his beautiful phrases and turned them into a scream of ecstasy: It was still jazz, but it also was the Music of the Spheres; it was exploding clumps of Divine gamma rays, and it bested the violinist. The audience went wild and awarded me the loudest applause of the evening. You can hear all this on the attached audio clip from the concert. The set was over. Trumpeter Roy Campbell, trumpet, hugged me, saying “We’ll play together soon.” The drummer—I believe one of the best in jazz today, Chad Taylor (and also one of the most taciturn) said quietly under his breath “Yes John.” The meaning was clear: I had made it into the Nrew York Downtown scene. Bang laughed, jumped up and down and forgetting that we had played together years ago asked, “How come I don’t know you?” We bonded like musical blood brothers and he lightly kissed me on my cheek. The moral of this true story: By controlling and directing your vital life energy with a focused Intention anything is possible. Anything! (sound clip at https://web.archive.org/web/20160407010630/http://art-energy.org/media/duet.mp3)