[Dixielandjazz] Songs Tuba Players Don't Play - What business are we in?

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Wed Dec 8 13:43:02 PST 2004

> From: David Richoux <tubaman at batnet.com> wrote
> Speaking as a tuba player, I can somewhat agree with Tom Downs - the
> song is OK, I guess, but it is the sort of composition where there is
> really only one bass line that works well in the chord progression - it
> is not open to a lot of tone or rhythm variation on the bottom end and
> that gets a bit boring after the 3rd or 4th time around. We play it in
> "And That's Jazz" a lot and i could do with less of it ;-)

Come on Dave, get with the piano and use some substitute chords. :-) VBG

> If you sent the tuba out for drinks on that song it could be a problem,
> Wiggins (unless you had a strong piano to hold the chords...)

I'm a bit one eyed about this. We play all tunes because everybody in the
band has likes & dislikes and it would become very complicated to play only
tunes EVERYBODY approves of. IMO, the band leader should lead.

If, for example, someone requests a tune that anyone in my band refuses to
play, he/she won't be in the band after that gig. BTW, since they are all
pros, that never happens.

Like someone said. What's the big deal? Make someone happy for 3 or 4
minutes. If we don't someone else (like a DJ) will and we'll be out of
business very quickly.

I will never forget playing as a sideman in a "society" quartet at
Philadelphia's Premier 5 star Hotel during a brunch. A guy came over to me
on break and asked if we could play the anniversary song and could he sing
it? He also requested "his" key.

I told the leader about it and he bitched like crazy. "Oh man, he even wants
it in a special key, etc.,. Who the hell does he think he is?" He never the
less finally agreed and we brought the guy up.

Guy sang it BEAUTIFULLY. Turns out he was a classical singer with some
Italian Opera Company, here on vacation, and he sang it in English and in
Italian to his host & wife who were celebrating their anniversary. The host
was a well known TV Evening News anchorman in Philly. Brought the house

The guy then slipped me $200 and graciously thanked me. Man, was I tempted
to keep it all. But being a straight up guy, (:-) VBG) passed it around.
That sure shut the leader up. Not only that, but knowing who I was by name,
the anchorman was responsible for hiring MY Band for 2 gigs afterwards and a
lot of contacts among the rich and anonymous here, resulting in more gigs.

That's how you network to get more gigs. As I see it, the business of
business (e.g. a band) is to stay in business. (stolen from Peter Drucker)

Steve Barbone


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