All You Need Is Love – John Lennon and Jazz

Murphy John Lennon 150x150 All You Need Is Love   John Lennon and JazzSo, this morning I was hanging out on Facebook for a few minutes and I came across a beautiful post by a cat I went to Berklee with.

He posted a really heavy John Lennon quote that really gets to the heart, I think, of what holds back, stifles and cripples many (or maybe even most!) jazz musicians.

We can have all the theory, techniques, records, teachers and time to practice in the world.

But I’ve come to believe that if what Mr. Lennon talks about in this quote ain’t happening in our life & music we’ve got to take a step or two back and deal with first things first.

Here’s the quote:

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid we pull back from life. When we are in love we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”

At the end of the day, jazz is a discipline, almost a religion I’d say.

Complete with rituals – like warming up, practicing, studying, listening, performing, caring for our instruments.

To succeed with jazz we must cultivate love.

Love for our process – the practice, the study, the sessions, the mistakes, the learning process.

Love for what comes out of our instruments.

Love for our band mates and for our community.

Love for the audience!

But most importantly, love for ourselves!

Unconditional Love.

I don’t mean to sound preachy or new agey. It’s just that I’ve tried the whole fear-based approach to music – never good enough, never enough practice, never satisfied…

And it’s a real drag, man!

Over the last few years I’ve been consciously going down that road of love, away from the fear.

I surely have plenty of room to grow and plenty of musical baggage that needs dropping!

But music does get more and more joyful and fulfilling as I go down this path.

That quote from John Lennon really touched me this morning. And I wanted to share it with my community and my fellow jazz musicians. I hope you dug it!

And by all means, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Shoot me a reply if you’ve got a second.

“All You Need Is Love!”



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