It's been three years since I last posted an article. I went into a kind of retreat after the beginning of the "plandemic", and it seemed that the world had not only gone into a collective panic but also a collective insanity. The political and social climate had gotten uglier, and it's even worse now. While music was my refuge, the needless lockdowns prevented me from seeing my favorite players, and some have passed on since. My own health issues cropped up again and I had to go into the hospital twice and have two more surgeries. It was not related to Covid, and in fact, I never got Covid despite living in one of the areas with some of the largest rates in NYC. Just the same, I wasn't really able to get around much and even after places were allowed to open up again and other restrictions were lifted, there were too many negative changes in the whole music scene, and now, with inflation at an all-time high, I can't afford to go out anymore with a social security income. I had hoped that my blog could get ads and I could generate some revenue this way, but for reasons Google never explained, they wouldn't allow this blog to get ads and claimed I violated some policy, which they also never explained exactly what that violation was.
If there was a bright spot, it has been my frequent correspondence with Alex Mingmann Hsieh, the president and CEO of P. Mauriat saxophones. I had lived in Taiwan for two years, just before Taiwanese built saxophones really made a splash in the US and world market. Today, Taiwan is in the forefront with Japan in producing world-class saxophones, and the P. Mauriat brand was instrumental (no pun intended) in making that happen. Alex and I often discuss the current geopolitical situation, especially as it relates to Taiwan. Of course, we talk saxophones as well, and he always offers to set me up in Taiwan if I ever return there.
The other bright spot, and for me the only one in New York City right now, which is now experiencing a crime surge as well as social disaster, is the saxophone shop of my friend John Leadbetter, which is now, in my opinion, the premier sax shop of New York City, and John has earned a reputation as a first-rate sax technician. Aside from his ability as a tech, his shop is a one stop store for new, used and vintage horns, as well as mouthpieces, reeds and all the accessories you need. He carries the top names in new saxophones, as well as a good selection of vintage horns. Check out his website