truthful perceptions: virus…

A dislocated nose, busted ear drum, bruises, black eyes seem par for the course in beatings that lasted over four years for one noted survivor in Mobile County, Alabama. Her drug addicted husband had decided he was going to beat, abuse and bruise her when he was both high and not high and seemingly blaming her for both.

Had he not overdosed, her fate more likely than not would have fed the statistics of either homicide or homelessness caused by abuse. Battered women shelters now serve more children than they do women. It is estimated in some small cities in America, battered women’s shelters are more populated with children than the Children’s Hospitals in those cities.

There are so many causes of peril, sadness, disease and charity to support in this world. There truly is no excuse for us not to, other than for lack of trying. I AM aligned with three major causes. Stopping Gun Violence, The Alzheimer’s Association and Domestic Violence Awareness.

88 guns for every one hundred Americans and the insanity of needless deaths caused by them is my reason for stopping gun violence. Alzheimer’s disease ran rampant in my family taking the lives of six paternal Aunts and my maternal Grandfather. That is my reason in joining that cause.

Although there is never been an issue of domestic violence in my family, I AM motivated for just that reason. To know from experience that women are to be protected by men from the men who are true cowards for abusing them. As the bearers of our future it is critical to bring awareness and formulate solutions to the plague of domestic violence. In my mind there is no greater threat to civilized society than to ignore the virus of genocide domestic abuse produces.

Find A Domestic Violence Shelter By Zip Code:







truthful perceptions: aid…

A leader is a person who takes action to better the lives of those under his/her influence. He takes the necessary time to reflect on those things essential to the quality of life of each and every individual. This should naturally lead him to utilise a variety of sources of power to employ compassion and apply the resources necessary to achieve harmony within the nation.

Sadly, the current president we have in the white house does not represent these values as a leader and based on his history with women is factually devoid and woefully impotent of them. By signing off on a draconian budget removing the legal resources that help aid victims of domestic violence, he shows the world his real character when it comes to protecting the women and children of this country.

Helping domestic violence survivors have access to legal protection would seem a no-brainer for obvious reasons, especially an organization like the Legal Services Corporation that provides this type of assistance to domestic violence victims and survivors in virtually every state. President trump is planning to defund the entire organization. All Americans truly interested in fighting back against this travesty should flood the telephone lines of their representatives in congress and the senate.

Raise holy hell on behalf of low-income victims of domestic violence who endure hell each and everyday and need all of the free legal assistance available. Let’s not simply sigh, moan and complain. Let’s stand up for victims and survivors, take action and fight!

Find Your Representative:







truthful perceptions: greed…


Aside from the fact that politicians who place the financial profits of billionaires as a priority when rolling back environmental laws set in place to protect our planet, it once again begs the question of the revelers and worshippers of greed in asking., “ How much is enough…?

Sadly, the answer that silently comes back is that it is never enough. Never enough money to roll back laws set in place forbidding companies from dumping and/or carrying toxic waste to flow into rivers, streams, lake and oceans that lead into waterways that furnish drinking water not to mention killing aquatic life.

Never enough money to roll back laws set in place to stop companies from dumping waste products into the air, especially fossil fuels, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide that directly contribute to greenhouse gases and thereby creating and advancing global warming.

Water and Air are just two, never mind the other concerns such as emissions standards for landfills, rules around offshore drilling, methane standards for oil and gas drilling, and restrictions on migratory bird hunting, etc.,

Do they not witness what is happening in the cities of China where millions of people are wearing masks everyday because of smog and toxic air. They have now come to a point where they are coping, but learning to live with it as if it’s some kind of organic alternate reality. 


A new study shows that air pollution is killing about 4,000 people in China a day, accounting for 1 in 6 premature deaths in the world’s most populous country.

Physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, calculated that about 1.6 million people in China die each year from heart, lung and stroke problems because of incredibly polluted air, especially small particles of haze.

7043400-3x2-940x627Performing Tai Chi in the midst of dense smog? The words Tai Chi are actually defined as, “Supreme Exercise for Ultimate Living…” Really? Today it should be more defined as “Extreme Living…” This is the extreme of what happens when companies/corporations are allowed to run their businesses without government oversight and strict laws in place to protect both people and the environment.

Just as he put someone in charge of the education dept. who knows nothing about public education, where 9 out of every 10 American children attend school, Trump places someone in charge of the Environmental Protection whose record is directly opposed to what the EPA stands for after decades of existence.

Their mission and objectives are clear: They are going to dismantle piece by piece, law by law the government agency responsible for protecting the pristine and fragile ecological vulnerability of nature.people-practice-tai-chi-775536


If this is what the air in Beijing is like everyday, can you imagine what is being dumped into the rivers, streams, lakes and oceans? 



The tears of GOD will most certainly flow, because only GOD knows what the long term environmental consequences will be upon our country and the planet in the next four years of trumps term in office. Sadly, the name will most assuredly go from the “environmental protection agency” to the “environmental destruction agency…” and all in the name of corporate greed.  



Music: “The Tears of God…” by Russel Blake









truthful perceptions: bob cranshaw…


While doing some purging of my belongings, I found some photos today of my friend who recently made his transition home. Dec. 2nd will be one month to the day and finding these photos made me sit down and quietly reflect on him:

It was sometime in the early seventies when my family consisting of my Dad, my Mom, my Sister Bobbie and my Brother Alex Blake was driving Alex from our home in Queens, NY to drop him off at his apartment on the upper west side of Manhattan.


When he got out of the car there was the traditional goodbyes taking place between us when we looked up to notice a gentlemen coming down the street walking his dog.

He stopped and from the back seat I could hear, “Hey Alex…and then Hey Bob, what’s happening man…” They slapped fives, shook hands and hugged while laughing about the random coincidence of it all.
Alex then said, “C’mon over, I want you to meet my family…” That was the first time I had ever met Mr. Bob Cranshaw. After cordially greeting my Mom and Dad in the front seat, he said a very nice hello and waved to my Sister sitting next to me in the back seat. He then extended his hand through the back window to shake mine while I simultaneously listened to Alex describe him as one of the greatest musicians in the world of music.


As a child, I had no idea how far that Divinely-ordained humble meeting with the firm handshake would go in impacting my life as a musician and as a bassist:

On Bebop, Swing and Straight-ahead Jazz music, I learned from him just how important it is for the Bass to employ simplicity. For example, intermittently using the one and five when walking holds down the groove, keeps the swing intact and gives the song some much needed rhythmic and harmonic air so that the soloist can reach a lot higher when playing.

He was the first cat I ever heard use that simple pattern and in so doing control the pulse, the colors, the dynamics and the attitude of the band. Bro. Bob’s groove style was so rhythmically set, ingeniously uncomplicated and yet just like the texture of water, it was fluid all at the same time.

Listening and watching him hold down the tempo was his own virtuoso way of playing. He was so successful in transferring the feel of the Upright Bass effortlessly to that of the Electric that at times, if you closed your eyes and listened, you really couldn’t tell the difference. He was truly the heart of the band in every situation I’ve heard him play in. His style of playing allows the rest of the band to have that centered tempo bass as the focal point for the song to evolve from. A lot of bassists that

I hear play today lack that pure definition of the role the bass is supposed to play.


As a child growing up, I grooved to his bass lines like millions of other children listening and glued to the screen watching Sesame Street and The Electric Company in the sixties. I laughed while being moved and grooved to his bass lines while watching Saturday Night Live in the seventies.

As a young Man in the eighties, I remember escorting my Mom to a performance of “Lena Horne: A Lady And Her Music…” on Broadway, in NY. Of course Lena was phenomenal, but it was Bob on Bass and Grady Tate on drums with such a powerful groove and a consistent swing that all Lena could do was soar from the foundation of it all.

When I first got the gig with Sonny Rollins, at my audition Sonny and I had a conversation about Bass players. Sonny wanted to gauge my knowledge of history about the instrument. He told me that Bob’s playing style allows him (Sonny) to go as far as he needs to go when he’s soloing and improvising because he can trust Bob to keep both the foundation of time and harmonic relevance. He said he did not want me to play like Bob, but to do my own thing.

Yet, what he needed from me was to keep the principles of Bob’s playing so that when he’s soloing he can always count on me to have his back with the time and the chord changes no matter how far the journey his solo is taking the band.

When I was coming up in NY amongst a community of phenomenal and creative musicians, it was and still is mandatory for your growth and education to listen to the iconic and innovative players of all music.

When I think of all the albums where Bob was the bassist and how on a subconscious level, he greatly influenced my own conception and perceptions of the Bass. From his recorded work with Carmen McCrae to Wes Montgomery; Sonny Rollins to Horace Silver; Grant Green to Dexter Gordon; Tony Bennett to Milt Jackson; Oscar Peterson to Paul Simon; Shirley Scott to Lee Morgan and so many more great artists he recorded with which amounts to a literal who’s who spanning over 60 years of music.

The magnitude of Bob’s bass work and his contribution to both music and the music industry cannot be quantified in this writing.

It’s better left to be taught in a conservatory or university curriculum alongside the great bassists who were some of his contemporaries like Paul Chambers, Charlie Mingus, Reggie Workman, Jimmy Garrison, Henry Grimes, Richard Davis, Milt Hinton, Ray Brown, Ron Carter, George Morrow, George Duvivier, Percy Heath and the cat’s who influenced Bob like Scott LaFaro, Arvell Shaw, Bob Haggart, Slam Stewart and Jimmy Blanton.

When his stepson, the great Bassist Tom Barney opened the door for me to do substitute bass work for him on Broadway/NY playing the Bass chair in The Lion King, my Upright Bass at that time was in Los Angeles. Bro. Bob in not wanting me to lose the gig, called me and said he had my back and asked me to go to an address in Brooklyn.

He wanted me to check out an Upright owned by a Bassist who it turned out years before was the house bassist for Prestige Records. That gentleman was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and his challenges forced him to begin selling all of his belongings for money to survive. Bob in wanting to create a win-win situation for the both of us gave me $1500 to give to the gentlemen to purchase the bass and then spent $2000 on repairing it and getting it cleaned up and gig ready along with a brand new case, bridge, pickups, bows, centerpiece and a wheel. Btw, Bob never asked me for a dime back and said it was a gift.

In the subsequent years that followed, every time I came back to NY to work with Clifton Anderson, Bro. Bob would selflessly and generously allow me to use his prized Upright Czech Bass both for the rehearsals and the gigs.

Once when he found out I was in NY on business, he called me and asked me if I could meet him at the Musicians Union.

Upon arriving to his office he brought out a beautiful brand new brown leather Hamburg Electric Bass Case. He had just returned from Germany where he told me the company gave him one in Black and one in Brown. He told me he gave the Black one to Tom and wanted me to have the Brown one.

Lastly, I would constantly get surprise calls from him telling me he was listening to my electric bass solo cd’s and was so very proud and impressed of the direction I was taking the instrument.

He would always say: “Man, I listen to you playing that bass and it makes my fingers hurt…lol….how in the heck are you reaching for and playing those different chords…”

I would then share my limited knowledge of the Bass while respectfully pivoting to interview him about his incredible journey on the instrument.

The last time I saw Bro. Bob was a few years ago backstage after a performance with Sonny Rollins at Symphony Hall in San Francisco. We laughed, joked around, talked shop about bass, the music and then took some pics. His sound and playing that night was impeccable as always. The tone, the feel, the groove and his melodic solos, especially on the ballads, were just beautiful. It inspired me and made me go home and study my instrument.

Always generous and possessed with a spirit that always brings calm, clarity and light into every room. He was selfless and always going the extra mile to help anyone and everyone. The Brother was so musical in every way even when not playing and expressed himself with a keen sense of humor and observation that made you laugh but opened up your eyes at the same time.


Because of his incredible musical contribution and now his physical absence, the Bass chair will never again be the same…

Please keep his Beloved Family lifted up in prayer. IJPN.

MUSIC: “20 Angels & 6 Golden Souls…” by Russel Blake.

truthful perceptions: gratitude…


There are a million bits and pieces of information that make up the experiences of a Man’s life. Most are often forgotten in the blink of an eye. Others are much more traumatic, joyful, significant and mournful to the memories held on to for a lifetime.

The balance of equity for most men of integrity regardless of race, religious belief system or background is to practice either by the minute, the hour, the day or even once a week is a time of reflection to be thankful.

It costs nothing and yet yields the biggest personal returns. This is a character trait most promising to know that a poor man is made rich by it, and a rich man is made poor without it.


It grounds you in ways to keep you safe from the arrogance of the batterer mindset. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Pastor or a Police Officer, the arrogant mindset of the physical batterer and verbal abuser remain the same.

One of thinking he is untouchable by virtue of his vocation and somehow immune from any conviction of conscience because it is both neutralized and patronized by his service to the community.

That somehow his livelihood qualifies him to live a secretive lifestyle free of condemnation in beating his wife/intimate partner. Nothing could be further from the truth for we know the universal law speaks to the heart of the matter: “To whom much is given, much is required.”

So on this Thanksgiving Day, may we as men take the time to truly search our hearts for any level of abusive behavior we have towards our wife/intimate partner, and begin the changing process with the best weapon of all, gratitude…

MUSIC: It’s This Place…” by Russel Blake.


truthful perception: grandchildren…


As Men, we can find no greater responsibility in life than being a parent to our children. Much too often we tend to minimize our impact on their thinking and the subsequent attitudes they carry throughout their lives. We much too often underestimate how much we dynamically impart upon them by our daily speech, behavior, work ethic and religious beliefs to what type of Man or Woman they will eventually grow into.

Of course peer pressure and other societal factors will influence them, but for the most part while they are in the most impressionable stages of life, we as their Father’s play a most significant role in how they will interpret masculinity.


A power relay is a type of conduit that can handle the high power required to directly control an electric motor or other loads is called a contactor. Look at this comparison:

Our children are a type of conduit that handles the high intensity of abusive drama in the home and quite often directly cope with the trauma of these events through emotional scarring and suppression. In most cases, over a period of time this suppression will emerge to rear itself in multiple ways.


In girls, it could ironically manifest in seeking a mate with the same personality characteristics of the man who abused her Mom. In boys, it obviously manifest in being the same type of abusive man he witnessed in his Dad.


The bottom line. We must fully take the time to fully comprehend the masculine power we wield and our responsibility to use it wisely. When used foolishly and abusively, it is sufficient to negatively influence and continue another generation of pain and suffering through our children and our grandchildren.

MUSIC: AHIMSA by Russel Blake



truthful perceptions: times…


Are you a Man or a Mannequin? Real men exemplify the substance of integrity abiding inside of them. Fake men are like the mannequins in a store.

Dressed fashionably well to attract others towards them, and yet cold to the touch and hollow on the inside from a lack of moral substance.

Real men clothed themselves with the vest of integrity each and everyday. Fake/abusive men don’t even realize how naked they are before the world regardless to how expensive their clothes are.  

Real men court, date, become engaged to and marry integrity for a lifetime. Fake/abusive men have already divorced themselves from the possibility of even knowing who she is.


You can never step up as a Man, if you’re knocking down a Woman. You can never improve yourself as a Man, if you’re verbally abusing a Woman. You can never better yourself as a person and advance inspirational thoughts in others, by destroying the life of a Woman.

Integrity is a lifestyle, not a choice. It is not a demand, but a dialect of human language invisibly spoken in the form of a selfless love and respect for all life, especially the life of your wife/intimate partner. Most men have integrity genetically encoded in their DNA and will absolutely protect and defend all life. They never abuse women and behave as a moral leader in their home, at the workplace and most importantly when no one is watching.

Men of integrity behave this way at all times… 

truthful perceptions: begin…


The best gift any Man can give to a Woman in this day and age is honesty. This can only be done by first being honest with our very own self. To daily evaluate our emotions, thoughts and experiences about the Women in our lives and to do it honestly and objectively, without any unfairness or prejudice, so that our examination will lend itself to the truth of how blessed we are as Men, to have the gift of Women amongst us.


Domestic abuse perpetrated by a man on a woman is not an act of courage, but rather one of fear, cowardice and a inner insecurity of a male embryo; a child having never grown up and now existing in an adult male body.

In having no point of reference on proper interaction with a Woman, either by a multitude of circumstances or some other deep seated incident, the first step in the necessary change of an abuser from cowardice to courage, embryo to manhood, predator to protector and from being a divider to one who brings people together is first recognizing he has a problem, and with a subsequent inner and outer confession of pain, with God’s help, we will let the healing begin.  

truthful perceptions: protectors…


Warriors are made and not born. No challenge as Men is greater in battle than what we face everyday in conquering ourselves. The first tactical advantage a warrior determines in facing his enemy is knowledge of his greatest weakness. You cannot defeat a thing until you assess its weakest point.  

Taking honest inventory of yourself should provide knowledge of your weakest points in areas of your life you honestly know need improvement, yet have procrastinated in taking the initiative to improve upon.

How we as Men have gone from being iconic soldiers bravely standing in place against any and all threats towards our beautiful Women, to now as abusers becoming the singular most imminent threat to their very life is mind boggling. The principle of self-control does not ask should we protect Women, it demands of us to do what is the most intelligent course of action in a given marriage, committed relationship or situation.


How you see yourself is critical to this process of employing self-control. Any self-perception that would seek to justify any physically violent and/or verbally abusive behavior towards your wife/intimate partner is a self-perception devoid of intelligence. Simply put, there is never a justification for abuse.

As men we are protectors…

truthful perceptions: police…


Personally it doesn’t matter to me what occupation one does everyday.  It’s when the occupation be it a Priest committing sexual abuse against a child or a Police Officer repeatedly perpetrating domestic violence against a wife/intimate partner, makes their jobs stand out that much more because of the hypocrisy of it all. 

When an abuser who happens to be a cop can indiscriminately beat his wife over and again without any fear of arrest or legal consequence, you now have the worst of animals known to control and abuse women. He carries a gun, is empowered by the state and is protected by a blue wall of fellow officers that would sooner have his back than betray him.

Call the police — He is the police.
Go to a shelter — He knows where the shelters are located.
Have him arrested — Responding officers may invoke the code of silence.
Take him to court — It’s your word against that of an officer, and he knows the system.
Drop the charges — You could lose any future credibility and protection.
Seek a conviction — He will probably lose his job and retaliate against you.


Two studies have found that at least 40 percent of police officer families experience domestic violence, in contrast to 10 percent of families in the general population. This makes it so much harder, yet not impossible for a victim to get away from her abuser. 


Divorce and the family law system: It’s important to choose an attorney who is not intimidated by your abuser being an officer. Custody and visitation issues are often used to intimidate and manipulate you even after the divorce.

Surviving police domestic violence: The one thing your batterer fears is your discovery that you can make it on your own. Every step you take to protect your life, safety and freedom takes away some of his power. Thousands of women have survived leaving abusive relationships with police officers. You are not alone.

You can survive against an abuser, even if he is the police