Tom Wood zenith at ans.com.au
Sat Dec 13 12:17:30 PST 2003

Hi List mates,

Here are the explanations for answer points allocation IMHO.
Tom Wood
zenith at ans.com.au
www.ans.com.au/~zenith   (25 sound clips + 1 track to download)
www.euroclubdejazz.com/zenith  (12 souind clips)


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.
Points & Explanation
A1       A            =            0             B            =            2
            C            =            1
            Most OKOM fans are mature group jazz enthusiasts aged 50 to 70 +
            normally paying an entry fee.  To keep the music alive we must
            freely attract a more general and mixed audience type.  If the
            public can be attracted or held without making them pay to hear
            you play, then you are indeed working hard at milking the crowd
            and promoting OKOM.

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
Points & Explanation
A2       A            =            0             B            =            1
            C            =            2
            The music should be infectious and the band should interact with
            the audience.  A passing public will stop if they like what they
            hear and if the audience builds up then that is an attraction in
            itself for people to "come look see" and stay if they feel they
            are being entertained.  If your audience builds up as you
            continue to play then you have the right recipe and impact for
            selling OKOM.

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.
Points & Explanation
A3       A            =            1             B            =            2
            C            =            0
            Children are a good people monitor and generally have a good
            sense of rhythm.  They will often spontaneously jig along with
            the band as normally young children have no preconceived ideas
            about music.  Also as evidenced with 'Down Syndrome'
            audiences, they will simply enjoy themselves if they like what
            they hear.  It's emotional and danceable.  This may be a happy
            OKOM or if it sounds dreary, they may become quickly bored
            and inatentive.

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 tapes to sell.
            C            At gigs, more often than not you rarely make any
                           real effort to sell CDs.
Points & Explanation
A4       A            =            2             B            =            0
            C            =            0
            CD sales (cassette tapes are now dated) are a vital bread and
            butter expenses income for travelling bands.  If you do not have

            anything to sell or maybe have only one to sell which you often
            forget to bring along to the gig with you, it makes promotion of
            your group and OKOM difficult.  Becoming known in the industry
            is important.  Maybe you do not travel and do not care so you
            cannot possibly assist in spreading and promoting OKOM.
            Perhaps you are only threatening fun and/or not playing with
            enough passion.

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
Points & Explanation
A5       A            =            2             B            =            2
            C            =            0
             Impulse buying is a good indicator of your bands popularity.
             Again, if people see a queue buying your CDs then they often
             say to themselves, what I hear is good or I want a memento
             of my visit here then decide to buy.  The Sydney-Zenith band
             have achieved these selling rates with vastly different
             audiences including tourists in Darling Harbour, jazz fans at
             festivals and mixed audiences at overseas tourist/jazz type
             locations chalking up a total of 4 points alone in this
             question with their infectious New Orleans inspired music.

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
Points & Explanation
A6       A            =            2             B            =            1
            C            =            2
            Dancers are another good indicator that the band's solid beat
            performance is appealing.  They would soon move on if the
            music falters or does not complement their dancing styles.
            Good music usually finds a market but if you can get people up
            (young or older) playing OKOM then it deserves some marks.
            It is worthwhile mentioning that the Zenith band sometimes
            offers a free CD to the first couple up dancing as this usually
            triggers off a dancing audience.

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.
Points & Explanation
A7       A            =            2             B            =            0
            C            =            1
            Taking audience requests helps to let people know you are a
            versatile group catering for younger and older tastes.  This
            interacting with your audience also keeps the requester happy
            if you can play the number. Although played at a different tempo
            even Twinkle Twinkle Little Star starts with a similar
            chord sequence to that of Wonderful World.  Requests also create
            spontaneity and variety that is essential to traditional jazz.

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.
Points & Explanation
A8       A            =            1             B            =            2
            C            =            1
            If you have a fair sized general repertoire say at least 1000
            standard numbers in the band chord book to call upon then
            perhaps a running order is not required.  If your group feels
            confident enough and the regular musicians are playing the
            gig then it is sometimes good for the leader to gauge the venue
            and mood of the audience in the selection of numbers.  A
            parallel here would be a disc jockey gig selecting
            slow/fast or different numbers to suit the audience mood and/or
            dance floor requirements.  For important gigs, such as live
            recordings or similar, a suggested running order may be
            necessary as a guide to final selection of numbers.  Therefore
            equal marks are given for A and C with a bit extra for audience
            participation and 'off the cuff' MC/disc jockey approach.

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

Points & Explanation
A9       A            =            1             B            =            2
            C            =            0
            Charts require rehearsal and prearranged music without
            improvisation.  This destroys the impromptu atmosphere created
            by spontaneous (unstructured) jazz music.  In the play 'Jelly's
            Last Jam' the young Jelly is in a sporting house where Buddy
            Bolden tells him that he looks like he's got music in him.
            Jelly then lists some of the classical music he can play.  Buddy
            responds, "That ain't no music.  The notes are written out
            tellin' you what's goin' to come next.  That's like waking up in
            morning knowin' you goin' to be alive at the end of the day".
            Perhaps you are professional musicians playing some jazz rather
            than OKOM jazz musicians?

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
Points & Explanation
A10     A = 2 for up to a couple of numbers or A = 1 for whole set
            B = 0  C = 1
            If limited to a couple of numbers regardless of how good/bad or
            how young/old the person is, your audience will normally
            appreciate the band's kind gesture especially if you allow them
            to select their own (within reason) tunes.  Professional
            musicians looking for a sit-in usually realise that it is
            ethically bad to 'hog the stand' even if they are excellent/
            well-known players.

Q11     Does your group get invited back to the same
            A            Rarely
            B            Often
            C            Sometimes
Points & Explanation
A11     A            =            0             B            =            2
            C            =            1
            This is usually a good monitor of what the organisers think of
            your group.  If they invite you again, it is usually a good
            "bums on seats" recommendation for your group and OKOM.
            However, having said that, the issue of return favours in the
            case of some bands/leaders who also run their own festivals
            sometimes looms heavily here.  If this applies to your group
            then halve your B score to 1 point for negotiating and "contra"
            marketing skills rather than invitations on merit.

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
Points & Explanation
A12     A            =            2             B            =            0
            Admitting to a "no" answer is probably truthful and correct.
            Saying "yes" perhaps is incorrect or you may simply believe you
            are.  However, as saying "yes" may require some proof this
            usually means some agent or critic must think you are.
            Answering "A" will at least be a step in promoting the band and

Q13     Are the band and usual audience in similar age groups?
            A            Usually no
            B            Mainly yes
            C            Varies with each gig
Points & Explanation
A13     A            =            2             B            =            0
            C            =            1
            Although most of us are in the now statistically large retiree
            group we should still try to reach for the wider platform
            audience.  This includes tourists and all age groups.

Q14     Do you think OKOM is dying and/or struggling to survive?
            A            Yes
            B            Undecided
            C            No, the pendulum is slowly swinging back
Points & Explanation
A14     A            =            0             B            =            1
            C            =            2
            Even if it's true, to think it and/or talk it down is bad news.
            A positive "no" infers information that things may improve and
            there is some hope for Good Time Jazz.

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
Points & Explanation
A15     A            =            0             B            =            1
            C            =            2
            OKOM must become more involved in the entertainment industry.
            Even at the expense of diluting OKOM if it helps to expand your
            audience.  Make the platform wider to encompass programmes not
            only devoted to jazz.  Modern so-called "cutting edge" jazz has
            tried to "educate" the public into liking them using massive
            doses of arts funding.  This has failed because it is too
            serious, subtle and complicated for your average listener.
            People are more affluent and lazy now with their leisure time.
            people want to be entertained, have fun, dinner dance and relax
            after work without becoming involved in anything too highbrow
            or serious.

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
Points & Explanation
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  There is an opportunity to score points here.
            However, if you select only one or two maximum activities then
            reduce your score to zero for this question.  Circling only one
            or two of the above in a normal playing session would be an
            activity overkill requiring more variety.  This may perhaps
            indicate that the leader sings practically every number e.g. E &
            I or the band plays continuous tribute numbers and/or medleys.

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
Points & Explanation
A17     A = 0            B = 2 because of the accolades
            C = 1  because of the accolades
            If you have a sea of intent faces watching the band play and
            receive a roar of applause at the end of most numbers then your
            answer would probably be "yes we knock em dead".  If some of
            the audience are fidgeting, looking bored or starting to fall
            asleep then your answer should be "no".  If you have flashes of
            audience repour on some occasions then your answer should be
            "C".  Some bands have lost touch with the drive and soul of the

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
Points & Explanation
A18     A = 0               B = 1               C = 2               D = 0
            Consider bagpipes the missing link between noise and music and
            the piano accordion being more suited to Munich Beer Festival
            halls.  The violin sound results in a very narrow specialist
            type of jazz feel so we have allocated one point against the
            instrument.  The harmonica identifies with youth music, blues,
            reggae, Country and Western music and now even impacts on
            OKOM.  We have noticed that most audience like to hear a
            little harmonica/vocal work as it provides variation for the
            average listener.  This year at the Dumfries Jazz Club at the
            Scottish borders, the Zenith played Wooden Heart (in F) with
            two pipers that were interesting as a novelty number and good
            politics for the locals but we would not suggest it under normal

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
Points & Explanation
A19     A            =            2             B            =            0
            C             =            0
            For OKOM it could be good news if your answer is "A" and bad
            news if you don't know or answer "B".

Q20     Do you have a regular residency and/or band following ?
            A            No
            B            Yes
Points & Explanation
A20     A            =            0             B            =            2
            A band with a hard-core fan following and/or regular residency
            means the band is popular and you are in the game of promoting
            OKOM for the next upswing.

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 show band
            C            That's what Dixieland style is
Points & Explanation
A21     A            =            0             B            =            2
            C            =            1
            Unless its for a show boat or vaudeville act this image is
            usually only identified by older more mature musicians with fans
            probably in their 70s or 80s using Zimmer frames with little or
            no future for OKOM.  Only a change attitude will help the future
            of OKOM.

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
Points & Explanation
A22     A            =            1             B            =            2
            C            =            0
            Generally speaking smaller groups are more often hired because
            they cost organisers less money and sometimes they have good
            soloists players.
            However, they do not project a full solid "big band sound"
            ensemble image required for promotion of OKOM.  Obviously
            if you have managed to snare a younger musician which in turn
            could perhaps draw a younger audience it could help with
            continuity of the OKOM style.

Q23     How many CDs has your group released?
            A            none or 1
            B            2 to 10
            C            over 10
Points & Explanation
A23     A            =            0             B            =            1
            C            =            2
            The name of the game is to spread the OKOM word.  Apart from
            good marketing your group would not produce more CDs
            unless they were selling well.  Most groups realise that they
            have to at least produce a "DEMO" disk to obtain gigs or be
            accepted for jazz concerts or festivals.

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
Points & Explanation
A24     A            =            2             B            =            1
            C            =            2
            The attention seeking big band sound and/or solid rhythm section
            is important.  Although most front line players will never
            agree, they are only the icing on the cake.  Sometimes you play
            numbers like Tuxedo Junction and/or Christopher Columbus with
            a big band sound on larger venues.

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
Points & Explanation
A25     A            =            0             B            =            2
            This is a simple question to answer honestly.  If your answer is
            "no" it will probably mean your audience is small (perhaps more
             people on the stand than there is in the audience) and you are
             wondering if you will be asked back again.  Perhaps it means
             your heart is not really in it.  The audience will sense this
             attitude and you will be on another downhill run.  The answer
             is "yes" for OKOM.

Q26     Does your group promote itself in any way?
            A            Occasionally
            B            Shamelessly
            C            Rarely
Points & Explanation
A26     A            =            1             B            =            2
            C            =            0
            Promoting the band is a key factor in marketing OKOM and the
            group.  You must do it shamelessly.  You will score no points
            for "C".

Q27     Has your group ever provided workshops for new/young players?
            A            No
            B            Yes
Points & Explanation
A27     A            =            1             B            =            2
            If the opportunity arises workshops must be offered for younger
            players who have taken up an instrument to get a basic feel for
            OKOM.  The Zenith used to have a workshop 30/45 minutes
            before each Uniting Church Concert series getting young players
            to learn a standard blues sequence with the basic chords.
            Towards the end of the concert program they would all be asked
            up together to "jam" the blues with proud parents usually
            applauding their efforts.

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
Points & Explanation
A28     A            =            2             B            =            0
            Audiophiles sometimes spend too much time talking and listening
            to the past masters than playing themselves.

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
Points & Explanation
A29     A             =             2             B           =          0
            C             =             2
            As far as promoting OKOM is concerned you must expand your
            horizons and reputation.  However, creating enjoyment for
            players and spectators also promotes the music.  Playing for
            your own enjoyment may be OK for you but not necessarily for
            OKOM.  The English drummer and record producer Barry
            Martyn, a long-time resident of New Orleans, once said that 'If
            you play for the people, you will always get a kick from it and
            their response.  Play for the man in the street or you will be
            standing next to him!' Have some communication with your
            audience who paid to see and hear you.

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.
Points & Explanation
A30     A            =            0             B            =            2
            C            =            1
            If you want to give something back to the music you love and
            have the money to do it, great, but most would simply continue
            to play as usual.  If you just grab the money and run then your
            heart was never really in it.


With a more personal approach, expand your audience, become a jazz
entrpreneur perhaps 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."

A big voice is needed instead of being a fragmented splinter
group each doing their own thing.  Why not have "RETROJAM" or "LIVE
DISCOJAZZ" (for dancers) or "HOGS & RODEOJAZZ" (Harley owners
"JAZZ BAZZAR" instead of always calling it a Jazz festival (Sacramneto
Jubilee excepted) in 2004 and beyond!?

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