I'm not one of the cats - do you include jazz hamsters? I kind of clumsily tread on a little wheel next to the jazz cage. Even that's a massive learning curve after all these years of rock and little discipline. So here's the jazz noob perspective:
Working on - soft hands, keeping volume down, flow - basic stuff. The revelation is that it's okay to be down in the mix at times - to be felt rather than heard. It's taken a while for the penny to drop after years of laying down big beats and prominent fills.
My concern is that I will never consistently get my head out of the way and just let things flow. As John McLaughlin said in an interview with Robert Fripp
, "The most difficult thing, I think, in being a musician is to get out of the way". Rings true to me. Seeing and hearing his apparently psychic with L Shankar with his One Truth Band, he does it mind-bogglingly well.
Listening to - been trying to catch up on the last 70 years of jazz - I used to mostly listen to fusion. Every day I check out old tunes I've not heard before. Some of my favourite recent discoveries on YouTube are:
Sonny Rollins (Max on drums). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ah-j6fALiGw
Monk (Ben Riley): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nttZuuACn-I
Tom Waits http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3-pTLDP0K4
Trane's Africa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J4YZwFa_1w