[Dixielandjazz] Re: Audience etiquette

Arnold Day arnieday at optonline.net
Mon Dec 20 16:00:10 PST 2004

I agree with Steve that no noisy party can actually "drown out" Davern's clarinet (except when he is playing exceptionally softly....for artistic reasons). But if they are seated near you or (Heaven forbid) between you and the players, they can easily ruin a $150 "treat" for you and your wife (or mistress). There is no easy answer, othet than the resaturant owner setting up two separate areas/rooms.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Charles Suhor 
  To: Steve barbone 
  Cc: dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com 
  Sent: Monday, December 20, 2004 12:46 PM
  Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Re: Audience etiquette

  On Dec 19, 2004, at 3:54 PM, Steve barbone wrote:
  > IMO, the solemn treatment for Dixieland is what just about killed it.
  > Basically because (IMO again) for the most part, the artsy silent 
  > audience
  > has absolutely no idea of what they are listening to.
  > This is a simple form of jazz. Meant to, IMO, be played in Speakeasies,
  > Bars, Whorehouses, at Parties and Picnics etc. And to be enjoyed by 
  > regular
  > folks who are also having a raucous good time.
  > In effect, the musicians are not, like the avant garde ones, "making a
  > statement," if you know what I mean.

  I find myself agreeing and disagreeing with parts of what we're saying 
  on this strand (probably a good sign). The origin of jazz was for sure 
  in social settings where the good times rolled, and it's great to play 
  and hear it in those environments today. But good jazz in all styles 
  bears deep, serious  listening. Haven't we all returned to our favorite 
  recordings over and over again, often in solitude, concentrating 
  powerfully on the music? Haven't we at many a dance stood near the band 
  or at restaurants or noisy bars gone to a table near the band so the 
  nuances of the music can be heard?

  I'm aware that there are some "artsy" folks who go to the symphony or a 
  Wynton Marsalis concert because it's an in thing to do, but that's also 
  true of many tourists who don't care a damn about OKOM but make the 
  mandatory trip to Preservation Hall because it's a good brag back at 
  the water cooler when they return to Palookaville. So what? As Huck 
  Finn says, it don't do no harm. And heck, they get some exposure to the 
  music, and their money is as good as that of true blue fans.

  As for "making a statement," I believe that all musicians are talking, 
  expressing through their music and I have no qualms about saying that 
  Jelly Roll, Pee Wee Russell, Monk, Coltrane, etc., and all of us are 
  making statements, some more listenable than others. There's a tendency 
  for some players and critics get tediously analytical about it, moreso 
  with modern jazz than OKOM, but if a musician's playing moves me the 
  intellectual talk doesn't get in the way. And good talk and analysis 
  can really helpful. I for one have benefited greatly by reading all 
  kinds of comments on jazz, from musicians' interviews and 
  autobiographies to Kmen to Stearns to Schuller to Berliner to  you-all 
  on the DJML.

  Bottom line, I think we can celebrate truly responsive audiences, from 
  the noisy ones at social events to the quiet ones in concert halls; 
  tolerate, up to a point, audiences that talk a bit too loud in "mixed" 
  social/concert settings like restaurants and certain jazz clubs; and 
  appreciate the fact that there's an ongoing serious conversation about 
  jazz among musicians, critics, musicologists, researchers, and others. 
  Sometimes the talk gets pretentious and wrongheaded, but if we kick off 
  our shoes, that be part of the fun.

  Charlie Suhor

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