[Dixielandjazz] Solos - was bass solos

Jeanne Brei TinPanAlleyCat at cox.net
Fri Jul 23 21:02:08 PDT 2004

Hey Stephen,
   Thanks for the reply -- yes, I've sung with Bobby Scann (that is who you
mean right? he's a high school music teacher, wonderful trombonist and a
great guy -- and he can read and play anything -- whenever headliners come
to Vegas, he's usually in the band behind them (ie, Don Rickles, Steve &
Eydie, etc.) and when I was sitting in with him -- he was playing Dixieland
at the (currently closed) Showboat Casino with Bobby Morris's band (Steve
Johnson on sax, Billy Stevenson on piano, etc.)
    The amazing thing about the festivals that I go to -- they aren't just
for old folks -- Sacramento gets nearly 100,000 in attendance of all ages -- 
one of the best things about that festival is all the families with their
kids and the REALLY GOOD youth bands -- that plus you get choose the
experience you want -- one hotel will be nothing but swing bands with great
dance floors, CalExpo has the Beer Garden and tents with Zydeco and rockin'
venues, Old Sacramento has small, intimate venues that seem hundreds of
years old (the Firehouse, etc.) and the Red Lion Hotel is nothing but All
Stars. And of course, the fabulous old Crest Theater is gorgeous with its
live radio broadcasts -- and we're not counting downtown and it's big names
(the Mills Brothers, the Lawrence Welk stars, etc.)
    And considering you CAN get an all-events badge for less than $100 -- 
it's an incredibly great deal for four solid days and nights of a huge
variety of music -- from barbershoppers to zydeco, from San Francisco-style
to Chicago-style to New Orleans-style trad jazz, Sacramento really does have
it all...
    Mammoth Lakes' audiences are a wide variety of ages too -- especially
since it seems to take over the whole town with its fabulous venues (the
Woods, the Whiskey Creek, the Holler, etc.)
    I tend not to go to the type of jazz festivals that you talk about
because I really DON'T like modern jazz -- it always seems to be going in
circles and never actually having a melody line -- and I really don't like
paying $40-$80  for three hours of music (normally in Vegas, I can get
myself comped to see most shows) I would expect a Dixieland band to outdraw
all other bands at one of those festivals because a Dixie band is having
FUN! The music is fun, the instrumentation is fun and the guys who know how
to play it REALLY know what they're doing -- they're not just reading
    It's so frustrating because Vegas does have a couple of piano bars -- 
but now they won't play anything older than Billy Joel or Elton John -- none
of them will play any of the old standards, sing-a-longs, nothing -- and
they claim it's because today's audience don't know those songs -- but how
do they expect kids to LEARN those songs? I'm so grateful to my Mom who took
us to Shakey's Pizza Parlor to do the sing-a-longs and to the Golden Bee at
the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs -- I used to have to sit on the stairs
because I wasn't old enough to be in the "pub" -- but they let me come and
sing -- and it was so much FUN! We used to go to the Trocadero at Elitch
Gardens in Denver a couple of times a year -- Wayne King's Orchestra would
be playing the outdoor ballroom -- he must have been in his 80s and he had a
violinist in the band who was over 90 who used to sing "Skirts" -- I was
just a little kid but I loved the music and I love those memories...
     It wasn't easy growing up in the Seventies and Eighties when music with
melodies was considered "old" -- as far as I'm concerned there's no such
thing as "old" music -- music is a language and is therefore ageless -- and
each style of music just reflects a certain mood of the listener and the
time.  When I was in Budapest, Hungary in 1994 after they had just become
free -- Louis Armstrong music was everywhere because (in my opinion) much of
1930s jazz is an "expansive" music -- the mood is "celebratory" and it just
picks you up and carries you away...and it's no accident that rock/pop stars
are singing "romantic" ballads from the 40s -- especially since the baby
boomers are at an age where they'd like to be able to slow dance and have a
conversation on the dance floor -- it's just unfortunate that we have to
listen to Rod Stewart who has NO voice whatsoever destroy these gorgeous
songs...I'd much rather listen to the crooning of Jeff Gilbert with the
Royal Society Orchestra or Crazy Rhythm -- I don't need "stars" -- I'd
rather listen to quality...

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Stephen Barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: "Jeanne Brei" <TinPanAlleyCat at cox.net>
Cc: "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Friday, July 23, 2004 6:50 PM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Solos - was bass solos

> Hi Jeanne:
> Thank you for reading and enjoying those posts and NY Times articles.
> You are among those who listen well. Yes, Sacto has some great ones, along
> a lot of garage bands. Tommy Saunders is a favorite of mine, as is Peps
> (Peplowski) and my hero, Kenny Davern who used to cut me up regularly in
NYC 50
> years ago. (he still does) The East Coast All Stars are just that. I work
> some of them, like Randy Reinhart here in the Philadelphia area from time
> time. They are great players and great soloists.
> The festivals you mention and the Jazz Parties, Atlanta etc., also feature
> great jazz musicians. However, many of the other festivals are not as
> I rarely get to jazz festivals these days, other than local ones which I
> They are not OKOM festivals but rather Jazz Festivals featuring modern
> smooth jazz and blues. Like Rehoboth JF in Rehoboth DE, Berks JF in
Reading PA,
> Clifford Brown JF in Wilmington DE, Dover JF in Dover DE, etc. My band,
> Street, has shared the stage on New Orleans Nights with Preservation Hall,
> Dirty Dozen Brass Bands, 3 times at Berks and Clifford Brown. (These are 8
> 11 day festivals). We've also headlined alone at Berks, Rehoboth, Clifford
> Brown, West Chester University, Dover JFs,  Turks Head Music Festival,
> Blues Festival, Wilmington Riverfront Blues Festival etc. within the past
> years.
> These appeal to a large, broad, younger jazz loving audience and our brand
> Dixieland goes over big time. The smallest of the above festivals draws
> the largest about 50,000. Our largest single set audience at one was 5500.
> Needless to say, they pay much better than your average OKOM festival.
> are no "all events" passes. Each venue has its own charge. Some free, some
> high as $80. Our jazz festival performances have generated charges of from
> to $39 for a one hour set.
> Some of the performers at these festivals are the BIG boys/girls. Wynton
> Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Bela Fleck, Boney James,
> Franklin, Hiromi, Toshio Ashioki (spelling?), Maynard Ferguson, Arturo
> Sandoval. Roy Hargrove, Joshua Redman, Kenny Barron, Keith Jarrett, etc.
We are
> usually the only Dixieland Band there, yet we draw with the best of them.
> We do about 160 gigs a year locally which is just about all we can handle.
> we rarely travel more than 80 or 90 miles for a gig these days, especially
> the band average age now at 70.
> If you have a moment, see our web site. Not fancy, but you'll get an idea
> what we do..
> http://www.barbonestreet.com
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone
> PS. Had a Las Vegas Trombone player sit in with us at The Coatesville (PA)
> Fashioned Ice Cream Festival a couple of weeks ago. Bill Scann. He free
> there and I think teaches music at one of the local High Schools or
> Universities. More of a modern jazz player but he did great and had a
> Know him?
> PPS. Funny thing about "All Star Bands". Had a Dixieland expert write me a
> or so ago stating that he disliked all star bands because they were
> groups and not well rehearsed. Blew my mind. I am a firm believer that
> musicians speak a common musical language and thrive in such situations.
As I
> hear it, that's where creativity lives.
> Jeanne Brei wrote:
> > Hey Stephen,
> >    I love your posts -- and especially the Times articles that you
> > forward -- but I'm just curious -- do you ever go to any trad jazz
> > festivals? Maybe there are a few like what you said -- but some of them
> > really feature All-Stars -- the Sacramento Jazz Festival's Red Lion Inn
> > comes to mind (hearing Tommy Saunders' solo on Black Coffee at 1:00 AM
> > breathtaking) -- the Mid-West All-Stars, the East Coast All Stars -- 
> > all fabulous musicians. Also, the Sweet & Hot Jazz Festival features
> > AllStars than it does bands!
> >     And several of the guys on your list (the ones who are still alive
> > anyway) can usually be found at Sweet & Hot or Sacramento -- Ken
> > Dan Barrett, Dan Levinson, Tommy Saunders, etc., etc. -- and it's a real
> > treat to hear them LIVE!
> > Jeanne Brei
> > Las Vegas, NV
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Stephen Barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
> >
> > > I am not surprised that some members of the DJML do not like solos,
> > > less bass solos.  (remainder snipped)

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