axamaxa learns to jam…

band of hippies
Band of Gypsies

Axamaxa had his first encounter with jamming rock musicians when he was about 15 years old. While hiking through the Southern Appalachians one summer, he met up with a small combo of what was called ‘Jesus Freaks’ (and here) at the time: a folk-rock gospel-esque group of modsters and forward thinking musicians with missionary roots from Brazil. They needed a piano player and axamaxa just happened to walk in at the right time. Being much younger and less experienced than the others, he was struggling to fit in; the band leader was right hard on the young boy but others had compassion and helped him stick with it through encouragement. The problem was that forward-thinking modsters made improvisation central to the musical expression

Free-style Ballet
Free-style Ballet

while axamaxa’s classical training had been explicitly formal: to play what was written on the score and to play it precisely with no room for variation. Unable to jam, he became a stigmafied ‘Square’.

Assembly Inn on Lake Susan
Assembly Inn (Montreat NC) from across Lake Susan

As Grace would have it that very night, axamaxa wandering through the resort town in search of answers, happened upon an old Black Man playing the Blues at a fancy inn for cocktail hour. To axamaxa’s astonishment, the kindly old fellow took an interest in him and showed him how to play the blues and to improvise. The old man’s name was Carson Dixon, may his Soul be blessed. Armed with this new blues technology, axamaxa was no longer square and could express himself freely in the new freak combo with great success and joy.

folk guitaress
the aminor chord, central feature in ‘house of the rising sun’

At church retreats and around campfires too, girls with long straight blonde hair would sing and play the guitar and musicians would jam for hours. Axamaxa, by now quite the aficionado for jamming technology, sought advice and learning. So Improv became a pillar of his musical expression too and this would have its influence on Musicosophical Ideals.

Peace, man!

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