[Dixielandjazz] Fame

Charlie Hooks charliehooks at earthlink.net
Thu Feb 27 10:02:34 PST 2003

on 2/26/03 10:41 AM, Nancy Giffin at nancyink at ulink.net wrote:

> Yes, Ron, and Steve has discovered how to feed it to them so that they like
> it and come back for more. Did anyone get the important point he was making?
> Why not take him seriously?
> To me, it doesn't make sense to ignore or make fun of someone who is sharing
> a successful recipe with you -- unless you've tried it and it flopped.
> Before dismissing and badmouthing, be fair: Try it. Have some fun with it!
> Adjust the recipe to suit your taste. Who knows what might come of it?

    Nancy, I do take your point--and Steve's as well: I even agree with him
about needed variety, since it works beautifully for me to follow, say,
"Chimes Blues" by switching to flute for an Afro-Cuban "St. Thomas."
Clearly I need players capable of changing styles.

    The almost Shakespearian "Let us sit upon the ground and tell sad
stories of the death of kings" tone of Dan Augustine's irony also touches
chords in me.  I feel sometimes, when "dixiefying" some (to me) idiotic
contemporary tune, that I'm being a bit like Old Europe: "We'd all love the
Americans if only they'd stop being American."  Thus, "we'll stop being OKOM
so you'll like us."  The analogy is inexact, since in it we Americans hold
the advantage; not so OKOM over contemporary fads.

    But haven't we all done our share of shilling to the rubes: playing "The
Bunny Hop," "The Chicken Dance," the "twist"--and dozens of others over the
years.  This crowd wants a polka?  Hell, roll out that barrel!  I think
Steve recommends some compromise here, some middle ground that will let us
play well and still sell ourselves without selling ourselves out.  If so,
I've got to go with him, though I sure understand Dan's feeling.

    Thinking about all this is non-musical and a pain-in-the-ass. Yet so is
hustling jobs, and somebody has to do it.



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