The long-awaited documentary on bassist Nathan East is now available in its entirety on Hulu. You can find it here.
I’ve watched the whole thing twice and here are two things (among many) that I took away from what I saw.
Being a great musician is one thing. Being a better person is another.
There can be no doubt that East has rubbed shoulders with the best of the best in his career. One by one movers and shakers from the music biz attest to East’s musical prowess during the documentary. However, what was truly heartening to hear is those same greats praise East as a man of character, dignity, and good-humor. A lot of people become great musicians. Far fewer become great musicians and remain good people. East has clearly managed to do both.
Being highly in-demand takes its toll on the family.
At one point in the documentary East opens up a Ziploc bag and takes out a huge stack of paper. He then states, “This is just ridiculous. These are all [airline] board passes. And this is just from last week.” He then goes on to talk about how he has been to Tokyo 67 times. Then the film spends a few minutes talking about the sacrifices families make in order to allow musicians to tour. I spent a lot of my younger years wishing I could be a touring musician. Being a family man like I am (I have a wife and six kids) isn’t for everyone but this part of the documentary caused me to be grateful to have chosen a family-centric over a life of being a traveling troubadour.
You can watch the entire documentary here.