Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Kundalini Stew

Written by M. Allison

When I was 18, my life as an aspiring young musician took a turn for the better after I was introduced to Naux (pronounced na-oosh) and Doug Rhumann. Doug played in the progressive rock group Mannequin and was good friends with Paul Frank who I had jammed with recently.
Paul, being rather impressed with my abilities as a bass player, insisted that Doug get in touch with me. He and Naux were looking for a bass player to join their group with drummer Jim Suey.

Naux, Doug and Jim were master's at improvisation. Improvisation is an art that requires intuition, relaxation and concentration. Joining them would be the most important move of my career. It was through Naux that I got the opportunity to move to New York City where I finally blossomed as an artist.

In 1977 music wasn't the only thing I hungered for. I felt a deep longing for some spiritual substance in my life. It was because of Naux's influence that I began to understand so much about myself and the world around me. He was deep into yoga and meditation and it was immediately upon our meeting that I knew he would be an important part of my spiritual evolution.

After our first jam session in June of 1977, we went up to his room where he lighted some incense and put on Brian Eno's Discreet Music. I'd never heard this music before and was so transfixed by the subtle melodies that faded in and out of the speakers. We just sat there barely speaking a word and there was a peace in the room that surrounded every fiber of my existance. Time stood still and I knew right then that I'd found what I was looking for. I was more alive at that very moment than ever before in my entire life.

About a week later Doug and Naux asked me to join their group and I was thrilled. I couldn't wait to learn their material and start gigging. About 90% of the songs were cover's and a few were written by Naux and Doug. But the amount of originals and improvisations increased as the weeks and months progressed. My skills as a bass player were growing by the day. Naux turned me on to his entire Miles Davis record collection and I soon began to understand a new kind of music that would be influential to me for many years to come.

But when I think about how amazing that summer of '77 was for me, what I cherish most was my introduction to Paramahansa Yogananda. Things were never the same for me after that.