Skyypilot Posts

Theater of the Mind

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Theater of the Mind

Nothing is as vivid as our “theater of the mind”. Society moves at such a rapid pace that it’s almost impossible to just think. Many people could sit back and really listen to music back in the 60’s (and into the early 70’s). Many times, these recordings had a loosely-based theme that could be molded by the minds of anyone listening. It was a slower, yet still turbulent time.

Typically, today’s music is shoveled out in rigid formats that leave no place for imagination. There’s a reason for that… Populations are easier to manipulate if they’re kept ignorant and rewarded for it. There is generally the same homogenized sound on many songs, depending on the “genre”. Don’t stray! Form a marketing funnel. Play the game. Above all, don’t think!

Other Factors

Other factors exist for the the decline of critical listening. For one, the sheer speed of our lives leaves little quality time left. Popular music, for the most part, seems to be repetitious, lowest-common denominator-appealing garbage. Younger listeners many times don’t know know what they don’t know due to lack of school music curriculum.

The second is economic. People have to make a living, so with multiple jobs and families to support, many no time to research the daily news, let alone purchase and critically listen to music. I remember finding albums that sold two for the price of one back in the day. I was more apt to try one of these and found some real gems that way; future buying based on the initial choice. (Chicago comes to mind). YouTube has tons of stuff to hear, so it’s all-of-a-sudden affordable. Please support those you enjoy when you can though!

Third is the (lack of) culture. Instant gratification rules the day (for now, anyway). Loud, live, lit-up crowds provide that false sense of sophistication and belonging. But, you don’t need anyone else’s approval. You only need your own. Take the first step out of the sheeple… Listen boldly!

Critical Listening

Critical listening can take you to the theater of your mind. Remember, you are an individual, not a demographic. Since you might be socially isolating right now, think about using your powers to step outside the box and see what else (besides the mainstream slop being peddled) is out there. I guarantee rich audio rewards!

Question the origin of all you hear. Listen to it in that perspective. Make it personal.

Since you can’t go out right now, bring the real concert to you. The fancy lasers, etc. aren’t there. They’re in the theater of the mind!

Oh, I might add:

2020- The Great Awakening album by Skyypilot is out now. It’s almost two hours of theater for the mind. Wherever you get music… Thanks!

2020-The Great Awakening/Skyypilot

© 2020 J. Mark Witters Skyypilot Media

Cannonball Adderly, George Duke-Music Masters

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Cannonball Adderly

When the names Cannonball Adderly and George Duke come up, music masters come to mind. I rediscovered Cannonball Adderly the other day after listening to an album recorded in 1969- Country Preacher.

I played trumpet in my high school jazz band, and attended a University of Illinois Jazz Workshop in 1970 or 71. One of the guests at this workshop was saxophonist extraordinaire- Julian Edwin “Cannonball” Adderly. Standing less than fifty feet from him as he whipped out his sax and wailed, I was floored by his musicianship. Shortly after, I bought his Country Preacher album, one which sounds great to this day.

Julian’s healthy appetite earned him the high school nickname “cannibal”, which morphed into “Cannonball”. Beginning as a Florida High School band director in, Cannonball moved to New York in 1955. He and younger brother Nat (cornet player extraordinaire) formed a band, the first time not quite successful.

Cannonball then joined Miles Davis and recorded the albums Somethin’ Else, Milestones, and Kind of Blue with Davis’ band-stellar albums.

This time, the reformed Cannonball Adderly Quintet (featuring Nat Adderly) was a smash. This Here, The Jive Samba, Work Song, Mercy, Mercy Mercy, Walk Tall, and Pops Staples’ Why (Am I Treated So Bad)? were just some of his more well-known pieces.

Sadly, Cannonball Adderly died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1975. He was only 46 years old, but his music lives on.

Cannon Ball Adderly – Country Preacher album

George Duke

Keyboard genius/composer/vocalist/producer George Duke actually played with Cannonball Adderly between 1971 and 1972 after first performing with violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and (believe it or not) Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention (joining him again 1973-1975). His musicianship and wild sense of humor fit right in with Zappa. George originally had no intention of singing, but Frank gave him his first synthesizer and urged him to sing. The following ensued:

George Duke’s first recorded vocals and synthesizer- Inca Roads

After leaving Zappa, George Duke would play with Billy Cobham, Sonny Rollins, Stanley Clarke, and many others, besides recording several hit solo albums. He was also a highly successful producer of many of the eighties’ hits. Here is a more in-depth bio:

George Duke passed from this earth August 5, 2013 from chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a year after Corine (his wife of 40 years) passed from cancer complications.


Cannonball Adderly and George Duke each left a broad legacy of music for us to marvel. Both started out as teachers and, not surprisingly, left us as teachers. They were indeed music masters. Check them out…

© 2020 J. Mark Witters Skyypilot Media

When I Was a Boy

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When I Was a Boy

When I was a boy, I grew up in a rural Illinois community where there was a strong sense of community and personal responsibility. My brother and I shared a paper route, played Little League baseball/basketball, and pickup football games. We could walk to the corner for an ice cream cone or to the nearby grade school to play basketball. We built a “fort” in our back yard with scraps provided by our carpenter neighbor right down our alley; camp out there in a tent in summer if we chose. As long as we checked in, we could ride our bicycles all over our little town of 10,000. Schools taught cursive writing. Legal immigrants from all over the world assimilated into our society. There were taught values.

Culture was rich in the 1960’s. I listened to the top 40 countdown from Chicago’s WLS radio. I spent some of my paper route money for 45 rpm singles. There were new sounds emerging as never before. Record album covers were works of art with lots of information inside and out. Often there were uplifting songs that would inspire us to go beyond our base inclinations to a promising future.Songs on those albums often were diverse from song to song- The Beatles (my favorite band) led the way.

The Beatles’ run was effectively ended when they deemed themselves independent from outside (corporate/government) influence. This made them politically and economically dangerous. Since that time, no other band could survive without touring. It keeps them too busy to cause a problem for the “machine”. They spent their time recording-real recording artists.

Times Have Changed

Indeed, times have changed. Postmodernism took over. Everything has been turned on its ear. Rationality is out. No cursive writing taught-too individualistic. Mob mentality. Hysteria. Fear-mongering. Herded like sheep. Central Bank Ponzi schemes. Lying, thieving politicians, businessmen, and media surround us. No one assumes personal responsibility. Chaos ensues because the globalist elite find us easier to control by division.

Sheep No More

The good news is WE ARE SHEEP NO MORE. People are waking up to the lies that are being fed to us by the fake media. We see how dishonest these politicians are by the impeachment spectacle perpetrated on America by those who clearly chose their power over any concern for problems their very policies have caused. Many actors, writers, academics, business people, musicians, artists, etc. provide aid and comfort to the true enemy-deception.

Peter Schweizer’s Profiles In Corruption details only part of this decades-old orchestrated scheme of theft and betrayal. We will soon learn of things that will boggle your mind. The boomerang turns. Stay tuned…

An Introduction to Q



Get your popcorn. Enjoy the show!

© 2020 J. Mark Witters Skyypilot Media