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Here is a little bit about me. I am married to a beautiful woman whose vast soul is both old in empathy and wisdom and young in exuberance and imagination. I was raised mostly in Methodist and UCC traditions with what I now consider at least a slightly more than average evangelical leaning for those mainline denominations. As a young adult, I spent several years exploring Messianic Judaism intensely but found it both more and less tolerant than my upbringing. The less tolerant aspects ultimately drove me to look elsewhere for the voice of God. I currently attend an open and affirming progressive UCC congregation that I found on this website. I really appreciate them and that denomination's understanding of a still-speaking God. My specific religious leanings embrace mysticism grounded in scholarship, the truth in all wisdom traditions with an emphasis on Thomasine, Valentinian and Celtic Christianity and the importance of social justice especially in how I spend money, since that is the only vote that ever really counts. My primary interests, besides those listed above, are organic cigars and spirits, discussion, poetry, folk, bluegrass, jazz, homesteading and natural healing. I look forward Ilo


I look forward to discussing things with you all from time to time.

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Guest billmc

Welcome, Sean. Thanks for sharing that introduction with us. That overview of your journey and your mention of organic cigars makes me want to sit on a front porch, share a smoke with you, and just enjoy a casual conversation. I look forward to hearing more.

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Welcome Sean,


Thanks for that sharing, My brother is very active in UCC in TN and would share that view strongly that God is still speaking and he also embraces a journey grounded in scholarship. Jump in the discussions that interest you as you feel led.


Again welcome,


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I look forward to getting to know you here. I like bluegrass and jazz. Do you play any instruments? I play a bit of piano but very amataur; this is one of my unfafilled ambitions in life.


I am not familiar with UCC. Could you expand the acronym so I am sure what that stands for? United Church of Christ?

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My musical tastes are charactized by two things. One is that I am a huge Grateful Dead fan; most of my listening time is spent listening to Grateful Dead concert recordings. The second is that I play piano so I am interested in music theory and musicians which relate to the piano.


For jazz, I like to learn the standards and listen to the great jazz musicians interpreting the standards. I listen to piano players like Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Bill Evans, and Keith Jarrett. I can play a nice rendition of Autumn Leaves.


For bluegrass I have to start from my Grateful Dead orientation. In the early seventies Jerry Garcia played in a bluegrass band called Old and In the Way. I love that sound and the music which inspired this group and the music the individual members made in the years since they played together in the seventies. I once had a banjo that I played a little but I lost when a relationship ended. Now with small children I don't have time to play anything but piano.

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Hi Scott,


Jerry Garcia played bluegrass with David Grisman, right?


I just started building a collection of jazz standards. So far, the only pianists I have are Dave Brubeck and Thelonious Monk. I really like Thelonious Monk's "Monk's Dream" and Dave Brubeck's "Time Out" and "Jazz Impressions of Japan".


I'll have to check out the ones you mentioned. I've definitely heard of Herbie Hancock. Duke Ellington was a pianist, too, wasn't he?


What do you think about the Rudy Gelder series of jazz recordings? I've read that some people think he really distorts the sound of a piano in particular.


I wonder if there is such a thing as jazz banjo? Dixieland would be the closest I can think of.


Thanks for the recommendations.

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I don't have an opinion about Rudy Gelder. I have been exposed to audiophile sensibilities both from my own interest and through friends who spent a great deal of money on audiphile quality equipment. Since the quality of sound goes through the whole process starting with the recording at the performance I can understand the interest in the recording engineer. Within music there is the sounds and there is the structure; in jazz both are important. I am probably more focused on the structure and happy with a certain reasonable sound quality.


Yes, Jerry Garcia played with David Grisman in Old and in the Way and and over the years right up to his death in 1995.


Bela Fleck would probably be considered a jazz banjo player.

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