[Dixielandjazz] Re: Dixielandjazz Digest, Vol 3, Issue 38

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 21 16:08:29 PST 2003

> Tom Wood wrote (polite snip)

> It has been our experience that some fans are purists who want/need a
> perfect recording of studio quality whilst other accept our "warts and
> all",. . . and it sounds as if your group also gives a high energy
> production. It swings and it is fun.

Yes, like Zenith, we delight in live performance. To try for perfection in a studio as we see/hear it, dilutes the reality of what we
are about.

> Your comments about "squeaks and clams" are noted.  When we were in
> the studio recording, each with his own cubicle and headset (unable to
> see each other) we could not get the same feel without our very active
> live audience to spur us on to greater heights.  So we prefer live
> recordings at the expense of some quality.  For those who want the band
> in their lounge room beside them using hoofers and tweeters (Sp?)
> quality seems to override a band that swings.

Even in our studio portions, we try and sound live. That means no head phones, a set up just we normally do on the stand, except
perhaps slightly further apart to eliminate bleed over into the next guy's mike, and no monitors. Hate them. We figure if we can't hear
each other, we aren't listening. (In 5 years of outdoor gigs, we've only used monitors twice and then, only because of the bandstand

> It is considered bad taste to ask the audience for
> requests on international jazz festival platforms but we often ignore
> this as our music is not normally charted or rehearsed and is true
> spontaneous jazz.  I hope that last comment does not cause to much
> trouble.

Love that attitude. We do not ask at Festivals, but do on many other gigs. And at festivals we often get shouted requests. We do not
bring a chord book (s). Our Rhythm section guitar and bass know about 4000 tunes, and so we can play a pretty fair approximation of
whatever it is that is hollered out to us except, some of the mouldy fig chestnuts.

Case in point, our second CD is a concert at the 14th annual West Chester University Jazz Festival this past February. The Theme was
"Women in Jazz" so we brought a singer. No rehearsals because of heavy snow several days prior to concert. No one in the band ever
played with her except me, because she is a mainstream jazz vocalist. She said I'll bring my charts. I said, don't. Just pick what you
want to sing and we'll do it like a jam session.

We did not know what she was going to sing until 30 minutes before show time. Talked them over and went out and did: Skylark, Speak
Low, Mood Indigo, Honeysuckle Rose, The Million Dollar Secret,  Teach Me Tonight and I've Got The World On A String. No charts, all
from memory and/or good ears.

Tremendous energy and fun during this performance as we added That's Why They Call Me Shine,  Your Nobody's Sweetheart Now, Li'l
Darlin, Hackensack (Lady Be Good), Margie and our signature song Sweet Georgia Brown. (best version ever).

We delight in playing SGB at every performance as "our" song. We also delight in varying the solos as our personal challenges and so
that song will be on both CDs, but quite different in feel. And that, IMO, is what jazz is.

Steve Barbone

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