Bright Tone Lightning Runs

John Dotto Fish Sculpture, Monterey Conference Center 

I had a close friend, Ron Harmon, who played sax, tenor mostly but also soprano and bassoon. I heard him practice day after day in that room behind the house with all the windows. He’d blow hour after hour, working on scales and melodies and exercises to sharpen technique. At the end of his daily practice, he’d cut loose on his tenor sax with beautiful free-flowing lines, a clear bright-tone, smooth lightning-runs and long sustains that tapered off with a masters touch of emotion and dexterity. Maybe this is real jazz, music unchained, free from expectation, set free after a long day of working on the bits and pieces of framework that hold up the invisible structure of art. Maybe it’s the fleeting spark of a performance when a musician blows for himself.