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In the Jazz world, the term chops refers to skill in execution. This, distinct from talent, dedication, knowledge, or experience. Each performance challenges even the most experienced performers to once again show their chops.

And we know when it's present and when it isn't.

This has nothing much to do with following the score and everything to do with satisfying, even exceeding the audience's highest expectations. This is not schlock improv, nor is it simply showing off. It's more like really showing up. Slip over here for more ...


Paper, Scissors, Stone

From this morning's Writer's Almanac comes a remarkable poem. I've excerpted a couple of verses below, and left a link to the whole show, which features Garrison reading the entire poem, below that. We each understand the difficulties with the rules of the game. Playing the same game by different rules promises little. Playing a different game altogether? Perhaps priceless.

Paper, Scissors, Stone
by Tom Wayman

An executive's salary for working with paper
beats the wage in a metal shop operating shears
which beats what a gardener earns arranging stone.

But the pay for a surgeon's use of scissors
is larger than that of a heavy equipment driver removing stone
which in turn beats a secretary's cheque for handling paper.

Completed over here: Link


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