Friday, June 10, 2016

Your Fears Are Not You

As I'm starting to prepare to release my new recording project ("I Get A Kick: Cole Porter Reimagined" from the Jazzed Media label in January 2018 -- lots more on that to come!), of course a few doubts and fears are getting kicked up in my personal reality. 

So it's great timing to share this new blog post from my psychic reader-healer-coach space: an inspiring story about a client of mine who faced down her fears about an exciting new job opportunity. 

I learn a lot from my clients. Read on...


Fear is a feeling. And like all feelings or emotions, it is physical. That is, fear mainly has to do with the body.fearful woman from
Despite its physicality, fear can keep you, the spirit, from moving forward.
I help many of my clairvoyant reading clients work through their fears. It makes sense that fear often comes up in a reading. Usually, someone contacts me because they want to make a change, embark on a new direction, or get guidance about an opportunity or decision. With the contemplation of risk, some fear may light up – followed by a request for help.
My neutral, clairvoyant response (with a dash of calm Jewish mother) is twofold: 1) assess the present situation and 2) check out the fear that it has triggered for the person. Then we can narrow the gap between the two – the upcoming opportunity vs. the fears – noticing whether the latter really have anything to do with the former, or instead are spectres from the past.
Now that insight is the gift you want to get to. The opening feeling of possibility now.
I’ve been working regularly with someone on a mission to improve her financial situation. I’ll call her Marjorie (and never fear, she approved this blog post). A job opportunity had come up within her current workplace, a government office, that piqued her interest, but she had some reluctance about pursuing it. It would be more interesting than her current position, with better pay and improved status. Still, she felt torn about applying. I took a look at it and saw that it was a great opportunity for her.
Click here to read more about Marjorie's story...

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dynamic Jazz Performance Photography from Lenny Bernstein/Jazz Jones Photos

Wayne Shorter, photo copyright Lenny Bernstein,
Wayne Shorter 
(photo copyright Lenny Bernstein,
The recently launched website Jazz Jones Photos is the place to go for compelling live jazz performance photography.

The site showcases the work of photographer Lenny Bernstein. Check out dynamic shots of hundreds of musicians and vocalists, from Anthony Braxton, Michael Brecker, and Lester Bowie to Jeff "Tain" Watts, Joe Williams, and Randy Weston, and everyone you can think of in between. More photos are being added all the time. 

Bruce Forman, photo copyright Lenny Bernstein,
Bruce Forman
(photo copyright Lenny Bernstein,
All photos are copyright-protected, but Jazz Jones offers very reasonable licensing fees. Contact Lenny and his staff for permissions and the digital files and/or prints you need.

Cindy Blackman Santana, photo copyright Lenny Bernstein,
Cindy Blackman Santana
(photo copyright Lenny Bernstein,
In Lenny Bernstein's work, you won't find artful black-and-white compositions conjuring up nostalgia for a bygone jazz era. He does not romanticize jazz. Rather, he captures and amplifies the dynamic moment of music-making. His photos show the player deeply inside the music, and the music deeply inside the player. The two elements exist inseparably in his images.

In these photos, the music and the player are still moving in time. Here you don't see etched shadows of black and white: you enter vivid color. And you don't see an isolated portrait of a musician in the footlights: you experience the musician in the multi-hued act of creation and communication. That act of jazz music-making as revealed here is both personal and communal, involving both private reverie and collective inspiration.

Bobby Hutcherson, photo copyright Lenny Bernstein,
Bobby Hutcherson
(photo copyright Lenny Bernstein,

You might say that Lenny Bernstein's photography arises first of all from his experience of what jazz musicians invariably refer to simply as “the music.” He doesn't seek to freeze the music or the musician — he allows the music and its players to generate the image. Look: and listen again.

Lenny Bernstein is the co-author, with Reginald Carver, of Jazz Profiles: The Spirit of the Nineties from Billboard Books. His photographs are permanently exhibited at California State University, Monterey Bay. They have been shown at Yoshi's Jazz Club, Oakland; the Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery at the University of California, Santa Cruz; Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz; and the Art Museum of Santa Cruz County. The Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and others have licensed Mr. Bernstein's photographs for use, including such publications as Art Forum, The Atlantic, The Economist, Forbes, Gourmet, Harper's, House Beautiful, Interview, New York Magazine, the New York Times, Saveur, and Vanity Fair.

Lenny Bernstein of
Photographer Lenny Bernstein

An electronics engineer, attorney, and WWII veteran as well as professional photographer, Bernstein writes, "I spent a great deal of time at Yoshi's in Oakland, Keystone Korner and the Both/And in San Francisco, and Kuumbwa Jazz in Santa Cruz, along with the Monterey Jazz Festival and other clubs and concerts. In these settings, I photographed more than 1,000 jazz musicians in more than 30,000 photographs. What you see here is only a small selection from my archives."

(Since this post appears on her blog, it's worth noting that Lenny Bernstein's daughter is the singer, poet, and intuitive Lisa B, aka Lisa Bernstein. His website includes some instrumental versions of her compositions.)

Jason Moran, photo copyright Lenny Bernstein,
Jason Moran
(photo copyright Lenny Bernstein,

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Poems by Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein) in Caliban Online #20 and #21

Caliban Online logo from lisabmusic blog
I am thrilled to have poems included in the 20th and 21st issues of Caliban Online, especially since editor Larry Smith has believed in my work since publishing it in the original print version of Caliban (see an earlier post about how groundbreaking Caliban was even then, and this one too). 

Download free PDFs of all issues of the online Caliban at the link above.

Janet Kauffman, Nathaniel Tarn, Ray Gonzalez, Elizabeth Robinson, Timothy Liu, Brian Swann, and my old acquaintance from the 80s San Francisco poetry scene Ed Mycue are just some of the writers in Caliban Online #20, while #21 boasts such writers as Gerald Vizenor, George Kalamaras, Karen Garthe, and Anna Halberstadt. 

This online mag includes the most striking work from a range of visual artists that I've seen in any magazine anywhere not totally dedicated to visual art. Worth looking at!

Here's one of the three poems of mine in Caliban Online #20, from a series identified there as "Persephone Post-War" but whose name I just changed to "Kore: After the Battle." (Thanks to poets D.A. Powell and Brent Sunderland for helping me figure out that change, which is nearly a restoration to the sequence's original name of years past.) 

plums from lisabmusic blog
Plum Juice

The fleshy plums
firm and black-purple
falling, shriveling,
in days
rotting on the ground.
The relief
of just looking.
Just stepping past them,
bits of plum skin
sticking to my slippers.

The space in my throat
where a bite of sweet plum
could slide past.
From that hollow,
my voice
echoing on gray
wood, apples
a woman’s
sweet singing in the lanes
of trees.

A faint
gleam is hidden
in the crack of a mossy
rockface. I reach in
my thumb
—it stings. Pull it out
dripping blood.
I suck it,

I can still feel pain
even gone from the world
which sliced into me
when I saw through it.
Here a simple line
of blood from my own flesh.                         

my juice.                                                                     
See the water pooling
in a hollow of
grassy dirt, sap
in circles in
the bark. And transparent beads
of liquid welling from the sliced
pumice-white fruit
which he places for me
on the tops of tree-stumps
at points along my
unplanned path.
He must see

where I walk and
when I want,
the sharpness of light
and liquid blurring
into hunger.
After each bite
a space of air.
I am inside

and outside
the orchard, a lady
in a gray dress,
treading the leaves.
A matted scent
like singing warms my throat,

and then
warm as the orchard air,
where I can breathe.

copyright 2015 Lisa Bernstein