It sounds silly to say that social media prevented me from making progress on this book, but it’s true. A few years ago I became a huge Instagram aficionado. While I got a lot out of the photo and video sharing app/community, it also became a massive distraction that ate up much of the time I could have spent researching and writing about the two Cellars. In September 2016 I decided to walk away from Instagram – at least temporarily – so I could focus on the book. It’s helped enormously. I’ve achieved more on the book in the last three months than I have in the last year.
That said, it’s thanks to that social network that the book got another push. I’ve met Instagramers who have became warm friends, including Peter Boman. Peter is an excellent photographer, heartfelt writer, passionate slow living enthusiast, and devoted family man who resides on the West Coast of Sweden. When we virtually met in IG and Skype, we clicked on a number of levels, including musical ones. I got really excited in the fall when Peter and his wife (who is also an engaging writer) launched a sublime online magazine, Absintheminded Magazine. Then he asked if I would write a story on jazz for Vol. 2 of the magazine, and I quickly took him up on the offer.
It didn’t take long for me to decide that the piece would be on the great tenor saxophonist George Coleman. Witnessing a performance by George and three top Vancouver jazz musicians in April 2013 was a pivotal experience. I was so struck by the rapport that George had with the players even though there was no rehearsal or discussion of the tunes they played. So I’ve known for months that I want a scene from that magical night to be in the book. Many thanks to Absintheminded for giving me a space to write about what I saw and heard, which lays the groundwork for what will be in the book. Peter also took the wonderfully abstract New Orleans photos that illustrate the article. See “Jazz” in Vol. 2 of Absintheminded Magazine.