Friday, August 16, 2013

@CriticalJazz / My Own Personal Kick Starter



 It's all about attitude right? This photo was taken back on April 18th. Believe it or not, I almost died the following afternoon with an infection that went nuclear. A short two months later in the middle of my third surgery to repair ruptured blood vessels in my throat, I almost bought it again. My fifth surgery is 08/29/13. I am trying to raise $200 dollars by that time. Literally the cost of one Rx.

I have advanced liver disease. I also have a myriad of side ailments including encephalopothy which makes little things like making change and remembering your own phone number monumental tasks on occasion.

I have spent the last several years writing about my passion which is jazz. During this two year stretch I have done kick starter features on established stars such as Wayne Escoffery and on little known yet still rising stars too numerous to list here. I do these features expecting nothing more in return. I do these features because I firmly believe a good critic should be an even better publicist.

Now I am the one attempting to raise funds. I have been published in major publication, carried by the parent company of USA Today in this area and have contributed to publications in Europe but...I am unemployed. The occasional gig writing liner notes or doing bio work is not only a huge compliment but gratefully appreciated. Sadly, spotty side work makes obtaining all I need from the pharmacy difficult if not impossible on some occasions. My home page has a paypal link and while I understand times are more than tight for most of us, anything you can contribute is beneficial to my fund. The doctors have raised the possibility of talking with a transplant specialist but nothing is a given. There are no guarantees with liver disease much as there is no cure. I hate posting this. It is embarrassing.

During the recent fiasco that was the social media meltdown resulting from the Trayvon Martin verdict I dared to give an unbiased analytical opinion that if a case was not built on factual evidence then a guilty verdict is not to be handed down based on inequities of the past. The result?
One individual referred to my paypal account as a way of whoring myself out and the end result would be my end in music. This genius had no clue as to how sick I have been. He apologized and I forgave him. I learned the hard way arguing with idiots is a soul sucking waste of time. The second kind hearted soul took it upon himself to ask I never friend him. The irony being I had never heard of this pianist to begin with. This gentleman went on to state he would contact everyone he knew in the business to "shut me down." Evidently Michel Camilo, Al Dimeola, and Will Lee never got the call, go figure.

I have no idea what the future holds. Liver disease is a soul siege unlike cancer where a course of treatment is somewhat uniform there is no such universal course of action when the second most important major organ in your body is slowly dieing. The liver can regenerate up to a point but there is still no guarantee of it happening.
I am unemployed. Obamacare is doing nothing for me. Insurance premiums are not a possibility as the rates in this area have more than doubled. I am receiving some treatment under indigent care laws of my home state. The other bills are my parting gifts from Obamacare. This is not about politics. It is what it is...I don't argue ideology. I live it...Big difference.

If you can help by doing nothing more than sharing this piece then you have helped and I appreciate it more than you know.

Deepest regards,
Brent Black.
digitaljazznews@gmail.com