An excerpt from the Cigar Cellar last week. I am fortunate to be surrounded by talented, seasoned, and supportive professionals. Some allow me to sit in with them, some provide instruction, some feedback, and others coaching. Emerging artists with a penchant for improvisation have to acquire quite a lot of their skills live in tandem with their acquisition of experience. I am still a student, so mistakes abound, room for improvement is prominent, and by examining my performance after each one I learn an enormous amount (far more than I could in a classroom). I know what I need to do, get a better handle on the changes, clean up the execution, hedge against fatigue, simplify my lines when I'm in the background, protect tonality when I'm soloing, and the list goes on. Until recently, I was just trying to get the solo and improv work to be above student quality. Now, I am incredibly pleased with the stylistic choices I am making, so I can finally transition my focus to polish; clean and pristine professional quality audio and visual performance.