[Dixielandjazz] Re: Audience etiquette
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
> 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
> 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.
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