[Dixielandjazz] away

James Kashishian kash at ran.es
Mon May 26 16:03:14 PDT 2003

I was away for about 10 days from the list.  I hope no one talked badly
about me when I was gone.....

I was in Boston for a few of those days for my son's graduation from
Boston College.  He will continue for his Masters at London School of
Economics next year after an internship this summer in the U.S. Embassy
in Madrid.  I'll have two sonso studying for Masters in London this year
(another has just finished), the other at University College London.  
Now, you all know why I go out & play so many gigs!!!

While in Boston, we went to the top of the Prudentual Building (52nd.
floor) for a drink & to hear some music.  We considered ourselves lucky
to find a sofa just in front of the bandstand free.  The band was on a
break.  Great surprise....I spotted a trombone sitting on a stand.  You
often hear piano, bass & drums....maybe a sax (always a sax!), but never
a trombonist.  

Well, this being the city of Berklee School of Music), I thought I was
in for a good evening listening to young, brilliant students.  None were
students, as it turned out.  The drummer was ok, about as good as our
worst sub!  The pianist was average cocktail, lending to a lilting swing
style.  The bass player didn't seem to be around, and the
trombonist.....?  Ah, the trombonist.  This guy was so terrible that we
left as the second song began!  Honest!  This is not an "I'm so good I
can't appreciate anyone else" thing.  This guy couldn't even get up to a
D above middle C!  He did a Gershwin tune that I later played in my
hotel room.....on my mouthpiece......& it sounded better than he did
with his whole horn!!.  What a shame.  This is what the audiences are
presented with.  Worse!  They didn't even know any better, and happily
danced and applauded.  

To give the guy his due, he put the horn down (thank God!) after playing
the melody (dunno what any improvisation would have been like!), and
went back to his "real axe"....the bass, which he played very
well...best guy in the group.  What ever made him think he could play in
public on the trombone?  Why did the other guys allow it?  Or, why
didn't they get up and leave like we did?

I've never, ever left a gig like we did that night.  I would always stay
and support the band with applause, etc., and nod goodbye when leaving
to whoever is looking.  But, this was SOOOOOO bad.

Someone in the Boston area has got to get up to the Prudentual with some
good Dixie....quick!


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