[Dixielandjazz] vocals

Patrick Cooke patcooke at cox.net
Tue Feb 4 10:07:30 PST 2003

>>> I, personally, enjoy backing a singer that forms part of the music, but
do not like having one on stage who just takes over the band.<<<

       When a singer is at the mike, the band becomes the singer's band.
You will play the singer's tunes, in the singer's keys, and in the singer's
tempos.  It just has to be that way.
        With a really good singer, I have no problems with that.  In fact, I
enjoy the little mental gymnastics of playing something that requires to
exercise my ears and my sluggish old brain.  A good singer can make all the
difference in a so-so band.  A bad singer can be a nightmare.
       Conducting?  A singer has to communicate with the band.  A good
singer can so this by several different ways....a quick verbal rundown
before the tune, kicking off the tempo, and some singers just ooze with so
much feeling you just can't miss what to do next.  Some just really don't
know how to communicate.
       But the real nightmare is when a bad singer flubs the
performance....guess who gets the blame???????
You guessed it...the musicians!   I have had this happen with top
studio-level musicians reading the singer's charts.
        I have backed up some great singers, and some bad ones. I sincerely
hope your next singer isn't the club owner's girl friend.
        Pat Cooke

----- Original Message -----
From: "James Kashishian" <kash at ran.es>
To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 4:06 AM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] vocals

> Brian wrote:
> >I wouldn't think it's an instrumentalists' thing or a jealousy thing
> Ok, maybe I didn't cover this deeply enough.  In some cases, it IS a
> pain to back a singer who completely ignores the band, or even directs
> it...or blames it if things go wrong.  And, many musicians (I'm not
> including myself here) just don't like a singer in the way.  I,
> personally, enjoy backing a singer that forms part of the music, but do
> not like having one on stage who just takes over the band.
> >While an occasional vocal is ok, it's still the instruments that hold
> the
> >most interest.
> Some songs cry out for the words, though.  Trouble In Mind, Angel Eyes,
> Doctor Jazz, Ain't Misbehavin'.... to name a few, with no connection
> whatsoever between them.  And, the general public likes to hear the
> words to a song.  They recognize a song, many times, by the words rather
> than the melody.
> Anyway, I'm into the "heart" thing, and if a musician has it, that's
> great.  If a singer has it, that's great.  Doesn't matter the instrument
> (the voice being an instrument in its own right).
> Jim
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