JazzWriter

I'm a freelance writer by day and a working jazz musician by night, and often I am able to combine my two lines of work. This blog is for posting gigs & various rants about music and life in general.

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Friday, October 08, 2004

Catching up
This week (and last, and the week before...and, frankly, the entire month of September and now early October) has been crazy. I've been working hard to meet deadlines, which normally isn't a problem, but since I've been juggling about 4 projects at at time seems to become increasingly more difficult. I'm pleased to say that I have yet to miss a deadline, and most of my work is turned in early. Part of doing good business--for me--is keeping my word and submitting deliverables within the agreed-upon timeline. No exceptions.

Well, except for one. This exception is the Payton article for WP, but that wasn't really my fault. I had a tough time getting in touch with the agent, and by the time I was able to conduct the interview I had two other hot projects in my lap. I also had contracts for these projects, so they took priority. But I intend to work on the Payton profile this weekend.

I hope. It's Kevin's birthday Sunday and we're celebrating by going to hear the Dave Holland group at the College of DuPage. What better way to celebrate a jazz musician's birthday than to treat him to the sweet ear candy of other, highly respectable jazz musicians? We'll have a great time...I'm looking forward to it. And it's not even my birthday!

Lessons in jazz
I don't mean "go learn this lick in all 12 keys" type-lesson. I mean ettiquette. Allow me to elaborate.

I've been mulling things over for some time about music and ettiquette. (Would make a great article, dontcha think?) I may not be the most exciting or knowledgeable jazzer out there, but there are a few things I think I have a handle on. I'm not naming names, because I know we all do things sometimes that kind of annoy others from time to time. But I'm going to pick two things to gripe about right now:

1. When you come to someone else's gig, it's good to wait to approach the bandstand until you're invited to play. Don't just stand up there with the group the entire night, horn (or guitar, or whatever) in your face, and play ALL night. Unless you're invited. By the bandleader. Especially if you don't really understand how to follow the form of a tune. And if you don't know how to trade fours (4 measures to the drummer, 4 to the others, preferably in solo order) or eights (same thing only with 8) etc. just sit it out. Please.

2. For Pete's sake LISTEN. Don't cut someone out of a solo if they start playing first, or cut them off if they aren't done. Ever. This results in bad karma for the group. I get uneasy when it happens to someone else, even if I'm not playing. How difficult is it to listen? Pay attention? You are not there to make music by yourself--you're there to make music as part of a group.

These sorts of things seem to crop up all the time and I don't mean to sound grumpy, but aren't these the most basic elements of music? Heck, you don't even have to know that much about music to abide by them.

Anyway. For a good rundown of musician tips, check this out.

I'm off my soapbox now.

It's kinda late to list gigs (I forgot to get back to that earlier in the week) so just know that tonight the Fulton Street Gang is at the usual hang. Tomorrow night's a private party. Sorry, you're not invited! :-) But you can crash if you want...if you can figure out where it's at!

Have a great weekend all.

1 Comments:

Blogger dixiejazzguy said...

Hmmmm. Gig ettiquette. This could be a long list. The most annoying habit for me on a jazz gig is that there is never a clear end to the song. Why? Because every "jazzer" has to add his/her little lick at the end of every piece as if you were entitled to some kind of cadenza. When the song is over, just end it and be humble enough not to have the last word (or note as it may be).

12:36 PM  

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