[Dixielandjazz] THE FOKOM TEST

Tom Wood zenith at ans.com.au
Fri Dec 12 09:12:01 PST 2003

Hi List mates,

If interested please try the FOKOM test.  A point's allocation and
explanation is available.
It could be FF(Feeling For/Fighting For)OKOM if you are nervous or angry or
perhaps COKOM if you are curious about enlarging your, audience. :-)
However, FOKOM is simply a quiz for JAZZ and "For Our Kind Of Music".
The possible target group is working musicians.  Suggestions for improvement
are also welcome.  Is your band assisting in the next JAZZ revival of this
spirited and emotional music or perhaps you are contributing to its final
demise and continuing fragmentation?

Tom Wood
zenith at ans.com.au    www.ans.com.au/~zenith    www.euroclubdejazz.com/zenith

30 QUESTION QUIZ (Multiple Choice)

Q1       When playing at an audience free (lunchtime pub/concert) event or
            at a passing public type venue (such as Shopping Malls) what
            kind of audience does your band usually manage to attract,
            entertain and hold if any?
            A            We do not play much at audience free venues
            B            The general public/tourists/mixed age groups.
            C            Mature jazz enthusiasts.

Q2       When playing at free venues and/or in areas with a passing public
            do you usually manage to sell your band to an audience that
            tends to build up as you continue to play?
            A            No
            B            Sometimes
            C            Usually yes

Q3       When playing outside jazz settings or at Christmas parties where
             young children (say aged from 2 to 6) are present, what usually
            A            We do not play these types of gigs or nothing much
                           different happens.
            B            The children start to jig along with the band.
            C            The children often distract the band talking loudly
                           over the music.

Q4       Assuming band CDs are displayed at most venues where you are
             permitted to sell.
            A            You sell many CDs at some gigs
            B            You do not have any CDs or cassettes to sell.
            C            At gigs, more often than not you rarely make any
                           real effort to sell CDs.

Q5        Assuming your group has CDs to sell, have sales ever reached or
             exceeded any of the following amounts during any session in the
             last 1 to 3 years?  Circle each answer if more than one
            A            CD sales of one per minute (average) over a 3-hour
                           concert.  (i.e. 180+)
            B            CD sales of two to three per minute over a 1-hour
                           session. (i.e. 120 to 180+ CD sales range)
            C            Neither of above

Q6       Assuming the playing venue has a dance floor or dancing area.
            A            The dance floor is fairly full for most numbers
            B            Mature dancers get up to dance on slower numbers
            C            Younger (18 - 30 age groups) are dancing fast

Q7       Does the band take audience requests from anyone, (serious
            drunks excepted) including children?
            A            Always, assuming the number can be adapted to your
            B            Not usually.
            C            Sometimes.

Q8       Does your band produce running orders (or sets to play) or do
            you select numbers from the stand as you gauge the venue, mood
            and style of audience.
            A           For a concert or playing session you usually have a
                          running order outlined beforehand.
            B           You tend to select numbers as you gauge the venue,
                          mood and type of audience.
            C           Depending on the importance of the gig you will do
                          either A or B.

Q9       Does your group rehearse/read music/use charts?
            A            Occasionally we rehearse/read from charts
            B            The band rarely rehearses but may use fake books
                           for improvisation using the basic chords.
            C            Usually most numbers are arranged and rehearsed

Q10     Does your group allow sit-in musicians?  If so, for how long do they
            usually play?
            A            Yes for a couple of numbers
            B             No
            C             Sometimes

Q11     Does your group get invited back to the same
            A            Rarely
            B            Often
            C            Sometimes

Q12     Do you consider yourselves "hot and driving" or a "high energy"
            group?  Are you a "bums on seats" and "entertaining" band
            for both the audience and promoters?
            A            Basically yes
            B            Not really

Q13     Are the band and usual audience in similar age groups?
            A            Usually no
            B            Mainly yes
            C            Varies with each gig

Q14     Do you think OKOM is dying and/or struggling to survive?
            A            Yes
            B            Undecided
            C            No, the pendulum is slowly swinging back

Q15     What type(s) of music and entertainers do you think jazz festivals
             should best include?
            A            OKOM only
            B            A 50-50 mix of contemporary jazz and OKOM
            C            A mixture of Pop Music Artists/Swing/Barber Shop
                           and OKOM

Q16     Does your group carry out any of the following acts during a
            playing set?  Please circle each act covered during a playing
            session. This assumes that presentation varies for future
            A            A solo instrument feature number
            B            A tribute number
            C            A novelty number
            D            Audience participation number
            E             Band members singing
            F             Band members playing other instruments
            G            Band Medley of numbers
            H            Ensemble numbers with some light and shade
            I             Impromptu parades through the audience
            J             Trading fours
            K            Jump n' Jive or Boogie number

Q17     In your opinion does the band usually "swing" and "light up the
            room" when you play for (say) listening only concerts.  If your
            answer is yes or sometimes, why do you think this is so?
            A            No
            B            Yes
            C            Sometimes

Q18     In your opinion what instruments, if any, would sound best to play
            (say) a couple of numbers with your group.
            A            Piano Accordion
            B            Violin
            C            Harmonica
            D            Bagpipes

Q19     Do you think your band's musical inspirations are expanding and
            developing into an identifiable integrated sound reflecting the
            individual musical qualities of each musican?  Are you putting
            your own stamp on the music?
            A           Yes
            B            No
            C            I don't know

Q20     Do you have a regular residency and/or band following ?
            A            No
            B            Yes

Q21     Do you think stripped shirts and boaters are the things for OKOM?
            A            People still identify with the image
            B            Change the image but it is OK for a novelty number
                           or show band item
            C            That's what Dixieland style is

Q22     How many musicians are in your group and are any of them
            under 30 years of age ?
            A            A standard seven piece (all aged over 50) but still
                           securing gigs
            B            A six or seven piece with at least one member under
            C            5 piece or less for monetary reasons

Q23     How many CDs has your group released?
            A            none or 1
            B            2 to 10
            C            over 10

Q24     When listening to JAZZ what do you consider more important.
            A            The ensemble band or big band sound
            B             The front line solos
            C            A solid rhythm section

Q25     During a normal gig do the members of the band look as if they are
            enjoying themselves on the stand and develop a good repour with
            the audience?  Assuming the bandleader usually controls this.
            A            No
            B            Yes

Q26     Does your group promote itself in any way?
            A            Occasionally
            B            Shamelessly
            C            Rarely

Q27     Has your group ever provided workshops for new/young players?
            A            No
            B            Yes

Q28     If you had a free (financial) choice do you prefer to be playing
            most of the time or do you prefer to listen to good jazz
            A           Yes, I prefer to be playing
            B            No, I prefer to be listening to good jazz

Q29     Is your band currently doing any of the following as listed below ?
           Circle each answer if more than one applies.
            A           Expanding its horizons to match a growing reputation
                          and creating enjoyment for both players and
            B           Playing for your own enjoyment and striving for
            C           Playing acoustically where possible in smaller
                          venues and using amplification for larger venues,
                          singing and announcements

Q30     If your group bought a lottery ticket and won $5 million what would
            you do.
            A            Forget the music, take your share and run.
            B            Start up your own jazz festival/club and/or try to
                            make a greater impact on the jazz scene.
            C            Invest the money for retirement income and
                           continue playing as usual.



A1       A = 0               B = 2               C = 1
A2       A = 0               B = 1               C = 2
A3       A = 1               B = 2               C = 0
A4       A = 2               B = 0               C = 0
A5       A = 2               B = 2               C = 0
A6       A = 2               B = 1               C = 2
A7       A = 2               B = 0               C = 1
A8       A = 1               B = 2               C = 1
A9       A = 1               B = 2               C = 0
A10     A = 2 for up to a couple of numbers or A = 1 for
                   whole set   B = 0              C = 1
A11     A = 0               B = 2               C = 1
A12     A = 2               B = 0
A13     A = 2               B = 0               C = 1
A14     A = 0               B = 1               C = 2
A15     A = 0               B = 1               C = 2
A16     A to K = 1 point each if greater than 2 types of acts
            but if only a maximum of two answers are
            selected then your 2 point score is counted = 0
A17     A = 0               B = 2 because of the accolades
            C = 1  because of the accolades
A18     A = 0               B = 1               C = 2               D = 0
A19     A = 2               B = 0               C = 0
A20     A = 0               B = 2
A21     A = 0               B = 2               C = 1
A22     A = 1               B = 2               C = 0
A23     A = 0               B = 1               C = 2
A24     A = 2               B = 1               C = 2
A25     A = 0               B = 2
A26     A = 1               B = 2               C = 0
A27     A = 1               B = 2
A28     A = 2               B = 0
A29     A = 2               B = 0               C = 2
A30     A = 0               B = 2               C = 1


5 to 30 point score
You are probably lifelong OKOM players and listeners, but too old to change
your ways.  You are leaning towards novelty acts rather than swing dancing
and expecting the music to die with you.  It's just another 'slow night' gig
and you are boring most listeners.  Your small audience could be starting to
wonder why you bother so don't be afraid to try out new ideas.  For example
why not produce your version of some Beatles numbers.

Average point score in the 31 - 45 range
Will probably have some fan following and have a chance of surviving.  If
your score is near the top of the range you are threatening fun, have
developed some showbiz tactics and could just be letting the industry know
that Good Time Jazz is not dead.  Many people even love it and we may
yet see some upswing back to earlier trends in OKOM.

46 point score or higher (Maximum of 70 points possible)
Devoted to most kinds of music but actively attempting to get jazz into the
next generation for a revival onto such things as the pop ballad charts or
music for younger dancers.  Playing in an innovative high energy, hot group
perhaps touring internationally or have played on cruise ships and have
played some show band and/or nightclub gigs.  Can play impromptu numbers and
audience requests without charts, even adapting Twinkle Twinke for kids and
Happy Birthdays, where necessary.  May have done some hotel residency work,
jazz festivals and charity fund raising concert events pushing jazz and OKOM
to new heights attracting the younger set with a powerhouse dancing beat and
swinging numbers.  With 60 points and over you are selling many CDs, a good
band with loads of energy, drive, masterly rhythm and melody.  The
band has hard-core fans, stage presence and probably performs with ease
encouraging everybody to join in.  Perhaps with fresh ideas using the
entertainment technology such as a band website, Internet address, archival
DVDs, e-kits, CD launches, press releases/newsletter and a band uniform
promoting your group.  With a more personal approach, you are expanding
your audience, a jazz entrpreneur perhaps, by targeting a wider spectator
group.  For you JAZZ lives as popular music and as recently outlined by
another lister.
"Merry Christmas to all, and lots of good cheer."
"May Our Kind Of Music be top ten next year."


More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list