SMOOTH & COOL ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
From time to time in life people show up who inspire you. Oftentimes that goes on for a decade or with some hobby or interest that you mutually have and then that moves on and you move on.
It is very rare that over almost three decades that someone is an ongoing source of inspiration in your life.
I have been very lucky and blessed to have such an ongoing experience
That person is my cousin Gregory Lassalle
I first met Greg when I was in prison. My father brought him to visit me when I was a guest of the Trinidad and Tobago government for leading a mutiny in the national army. For those who want to know more about that, they can get my Autobiographical Audio book. Rex Lassalle & The Alchemy of TIME.
My father in introducing him to me pointed to him as he stood next to my father and with his prophetic eyes said…he is Smooth & Cool. Interestingly, that has been an on the button statement about who Greg is and my experience of who he is.
Greg is an ace musician, arranger and music producer. Our communication is based around music. In saying that it is a Vast canvas and goes way beyond the word music in its consensus viewpoint.
One of the transformative ramifications which at times occur in our conversations is that it impacts the dream state of people who know nothing about our conversations. In fact in one such experience the person never even knew that Greg existed in my life.
About five years back, Greg and I were having a conversation about Creativity and the Creative Process. The sharing was going back and forth between us encompassing all aspects of the Creative process. Then Greg said to me, “Rex…We IN DE YARD.” I knew exactly what Greg was saying when he said that.
This is a Trinidad expression which symbolizes the creative process of a Steelband practicing and innovating for a Panorama competition. It is also about being in the yard for the Hosay celebration where the Tassa drums are beaten and the arranger and drummers are seeking other innovations IN DE YARD, when that is happening.
It could also encompass being in a Shango Yard where an Orisha ceremony is taking place.
SMOOTH & COOL DREAM
This registered big time in our collaboration. As two friends of mine had a dream that night about being in “different Yards” in Trinidad. One was a Finnish student and friend of mine who dreamt about my mother in a yard and she was there with a baby talking to me.
QUANTUM FIELD ALCHEMY
By the way this Finnish woman, never saw a photo of my mother, plus she knew nothing about yards in Trinidad having a connection with the cultural creative process. Her description of my mother was spot on. The other friend was from Trinidad and knew my mother very well. She had a dream where my mother was ushering people into a gathering where I was doing a presentation.
By the way readers this has not happened from any conversation that I have had with anyone before or since. Where that same night a dream linked to a conversation shows up where no awareness or knowledge of the content in a dialogue becomes manifest in a dream that is totally relevant to that conversation.
This is the type of energy that is present with our chats and sharing. That there has been a repeat of such an experience, No. I guess more accurately, not yet.
SMOOTH & COOL SERENDIPITY
This did create another awareness of Space in life and the impact that certain events, conversations can have a rippling effect that has no relevance to other individuals lives. But shows deeper levels of communication that is inherently present with one’s links to such individuals.
By the way, these coincidences that surround our sharing and exchanges has been a major influence in shaping the way I write about TIME. The experiences that I have had in chatting and sharing with Greg’s over the decades has contributed to me using that expression; Alchemy of TIME
To limit it to 5 is very challenging as there are so many that I have to leave out. Obviously unfair to who Greg is in the conversation about music. As his menu is the largest of anyone that I have come across and I am including all the global icons. That is no exaggeration on my part.
VASTNESS OF HIS IMAGINATION
The landscape over which it stretches…has more of a galactic quality to it.
For sure beyond global expression. As he brings another eye with the sounds he milks from those locations.
It would seem that his mind is so open to Space and the music and sounds that are in that space. That who he is has an immediate relationship to it that encompasses the quality of Relatedness. As you realise, there is a major restriction about finding words and stringing them together to best capture what that quality is which he carries.
My favourite is the Whitney Houston piece Higher Love
I love what Greg did to that piece where he blended Soca rhythms of Trinidad with Hosay rhythms of Trinidad into this Whitney R&B hit that took it to somewhere that Whitney never imagined it could be taken.
Second piece I want to highlight is Spiritual Voices Part 1
Here Greg takes us to Asia and its Hindu and Buddhist rhythms, mantras and invocations. Listening to it you sense that you are on this Spiritual journey with Buddha and Krishna that carries a mellow smoothness.
Third Piece is where he is heading up the Himalayas with his Tibet piece…yes you are starting to ask yourself who is putting this together…I thought he was from the steelband calypso island of Trinidad. Yes he is and his breadth of listening and creating is beyond Global it is “Cosmological-Galactic”
Fourth Piece is Attitude. Here, Greg is taking you to the inner chat of someone living in one of those large Western cities. Where the anxiety and frustration of dealing with modern life and where they go. Yes…his songwriting and arranging
Fifth Piece is Shine. He does not leave the person in this mire of stickiness and depression. He inspires them with SHINE, to walk out of all that depressing frustrating inner chatter to a new place of myriad possibilities in their being.
Here is a poem I wrote acknowledging who Greg is in my life
SMOOTH & COOL
He embodies it totally
Always in the groove
Be it speech, moving, playing, creating
Smooth & Cool is the brand
Carrying a vast menu card
Encompassing a global outreach
Thailand roots are there
As are Taiwan, China, Malaysia
Along with Vietnam Lakes
No such geography conversations
Are part of his narrative
Yet his nuances, pauses and speech patterns
Sea of Asia and its roots bring a subtle elegance
He has certainly moved on from there
Yet in his smooth & cool persona
Such subtle currents unconsciously pervade his demeanour
Karmic blessings are still ripening there for him
Even though awkward memories may be there
Passing years in those cultures
Bring forth good karmic seeds
For later journeys
What a prodigious collection of music
He holds many vaults of creative expression
From jazz to funk to soca, gospel, ambient, classical
Plus his own genre creation Hosay Soca
He took Whitney Houston’s Higher Love to a stratosphere
She never dreamed of
As he jammed that St. James Hosay rhythm on it
Takes you somewhere that Whitney is now looking for
Yes smooth and cool with his innovations
Keeps opening more hinges in the heart
He does not stop there
Can take you into the Asian landscape
Listen to his Spiritual Voices Part 1
No don’t settle with that
As Greg can swing you straight into Soweto
Yes into the rhythms of that Apartheid struggle
Smooth & Cool shakes your bones
Then he will come and chill you out
As you feel his composition Lone Wolf Watching
Blues for sure Greg can take you there…It’s Over
Smooth & Cool can lift you up from there
Singing his composition Shine
Coaching you with his Attitude lyrics
Yes he is arranger, musician and singer in it
List is too long to go on
Thank You Greg for your contribution to my life
The vastness and depth of it is a perpetual unfolding
Thanks for being the core source of my inspiration
Over The last twenty five years