Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Pocket

In the short time I got to be in a band with Mark (HEFFY with Rob Maccabe and Ben Backert) he really taught me a lot about playing in the pocket and taking it easy.

I have to admit that Mark was kind of an intimidating dude, when I very first met him. I went to like, 4 rehearsals before he ever said anything to me at all... and were the rhythm section - no talking. Dang!

But then one day, we were sitting outside the rehearsal space and he just started talking to me about music... asking me questions about what I liked etc, and gave me a couple of really nice compliments on my playing and a few pointers too. I never forgot them. And after a couple of more months or so of playing with Mark, I feel like something changed for me as a musician. My approach changed, for the better, thanks to him. He gave me a great book once called "Jazz Anecdotes", that I have to this day, and still browse thru often. I think about him when I read it.

Mark was a super-cool, creative and sensitive guy. I really admired him a lot, and will miss that dry sense of humor, crooked smile and unique personality.

-Jay Donovan