[Dixielandjazz] Fwd: Jazz Musicians

JazzMnJoe at aol.com JazzMnJoe at aol.com
Tue May 20 01:33:25 PDT 2003

In a message dated 5/19/03 12:19:31 PM Central Daylight Time, 
bixnme at excite.com writes:

> Pianists are intellectuals and know-it-alls. They studied theory,harmony and 
> composition in college. Most are riddled with self-doubt.They are usually 
> bald. They should have big hands, but often don't.They were social rejects 
> as adolescents. Pianists have a special love-hate relationship with 
> singers.
> Bassists are not terribly smart. The best Bassists come to terms with their 
> limitations by playing simple lines and rarely soloing. During their better 
> musical moments, a bassist will pull his strings hard and grunt like an 
> animal. Bass players are built big, with paws for hands, and they are 
> always bent over awkwardly. If you talk to them during a break, you will 
> not be able to tell whether they are listening.
> Drummers are radical. Specific personalities vary, but are alwaysextreme. A 
> drummer might be the funniest person in the world, or the most psychotic. 
> Drummers are uneasy because of the many jokes told about them, most of 
> which stem from the fact that they aren't really musicians. Pianists are 
> particularly successful at making drummers feel bad. Most drummers are 
> highly excitable; when excited, they play louder. If you decide to talk to 
> the drummer during a break, always be careful not to sneak up on him.
> Saxophonists think that they are the most important players on the stage. 
> Consequently, they are temperamental and territorial. They know all the 
> Coltrane and Bird licks but have their own sound, a mixture of Coltrane and 
> Bird. They like to take exceptionally long solos, which reach a peak 
> half-way through and then just don't stop.They practice quietly but audibly 
> while other people are trying to play. They are obsessed. If you talk to a 
> saxophonist during a break, you will hear a lot of excuses about his 
> reeds.Trumpet players are image-consc ious and walk with a swagger. They 
> are often former college linebackers. Trumpet players are very attractive 
> to women, despite the strange indentation on their lips. Many of them sing. 
> Misguided critics then compare them to either Louis Armstrong or Chet Baker 
> depending whether they're black or white. Arrive at the session early, and 
> you may get to witness the special trumpet game.The rules are: play as loud 
> and as high as possible. The winner is the one who plays loudest and 
> highest. If you talk to a trumpet player during a break, he might confess 
> that his favorite player is Maynard Ferguson, the merciless God of 
> loud-high trumpeting.
> Jazz guitarists are never very happy. Guitarists hate piano players because 
> they can hit ten notes at once, but guitarists make up for it by playing as 
> fast as they can. The more a guitarist drinks, the higher he turns his amp. 
> Then the drummer starts to play harder, and the trumpeter dips into his 
> loud/high arsenal. Sudden ly, the saxophonist's universe crumbles because 
> he is no longer the most important player on stage. He packs up his horn, 
> nicks his best reed in haste, and storms out of the room. The pianist 
> struggles to suppress a laugh. If you talk to a guitarist during the break 
> he'll ask intimate questions about your 14-year-old sister.
> Vocalists are whimsical creations of the all-powerful jazz gods. They go to 
> sessions in order to test musicians' capacities for suffering. They are not 
> of the jazz world, but enter it surreptitiously.Example: A young woman is 
> playing minor roles in college musicaltheater. One day, a misguided campus 
> newspaper critic describes her singing as "...jazzy." Voila! A star is 
> born! Quickly she learns "My Funny Valentine," Summertime," and "Route 66." 
> Her training complete,she embarks on a campaign of musical terrorism. 
> Musicians flee from the bandstand as she approaches. Those who must remain 
> feel the full fury of the jazz universe. Singers generally spend a lot of 
> time hanging around the piano player trying to find out what key they sing 
> in. Even after years of attending sessions they never know. But they 
> usually wear push-up bras, so who cares?The vocalist will try to seduce 
> you, and the rest of the audience, by making eye contact, acknowledging 
> your presence, even talking to you between tunes. DO NOT FALL INTO THIS 
> TRAP! Look away, make your distaste obvious. Otherwise the musicians will 
> avoid you during theirbreaks. Incidentally, if you talk to a vocalist 
> during a break, she will introduce you to her "manager." There are also a 
> few male jazz singers but they never go to jamsessions. They generally 
> spend a lot of time and money on theirwardrobe and hair. The end of the 
> last vocal chorus is usually adisaster as nobody (even the singer) knows 
> how to take the tune out. Will he/she come in at the bridge after the 
> solos, repeat the last 8 bars or hold the last note? For how long? or try 
> for the highest note in hi s/her range &hope that it will be somewhere on 
> the chord? Sometimes you can tell he/she is going out by closing his/her 
> eyes and raising his/her arms to a crucifixion position.The trombone is 
> known for its pleading, voice-like quality. "Listen,"it seems to say in the 
> male tenor range, "Why won't anybody hire me for a gig?" 
> Trombonists come to a gig burdened with a long musical tradition of comedy 
> effects. Only the bassoon has such a history - but bassoonists seldom come 
> to jam sessions. Today trombonists like to play fast, because their notes 
> become indistinguishable and thus immune to criticism. Some trombonists 
> played trumpet in their early years, then decided that they didn't want to 
> walk around with a strange indentation on their lips. Now they hate trumpet 
> players, whosomehow still get most of the women despite this 
> facialdisfigurement. Trombonists are usually tall and lean, with forlorn 
> faces. They don't eat much. They have to be very friendly , because nobody 
> really needs a trombonist. Talk to a trombonist during a break and he'll 
> ask you for a gig, try to sell you a mutual fund or offer to help you set 
> up a web site.

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