[Dixielandjazz] Things that make me cringe

Patrick Cooke patcooke at cox.net
Wed Jul 28 02:41:42 PDT 2004

It seems that a lot of guys have an urge to sing like Louis Armstrong...many
even wiping their brow while they 'sing'.
     When Louis did it, it was singing....it had feeling.  The others are
merely imitating the gravel voice.  It's been done, done, and overdone.
    Please give it up, guys.  If you must sing, please do it in your own
natural voice.  Let Louis rest in peace,
     Pat Cooke

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bill Haesler" <bhaesler at bigpond.net.au>
To: "dixieland jazz mail list" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2004 6:26 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Re: No Rhythm Front Line

> Dear frontline musos,
> I have been following this thread with a great amount of yawning.
> Apart from Mike Woitowicz, who seems to give grudging support to the
> practice, we have had no comment from the rhythm people.
> Australian frontlines, from the best to the worst, have been doing this
> unnecessary 'cappela thing' for at least 50 years and I have always HATED
> it.
> Why? Because, from the best to the worst, I have yet to hear it pulled off
> effectively. Pun intended. For that is what it is.
> I cringe every time a frontline man (usually without warning) suggests it.
> As do most rhythm people I perform with.
> Rhythm sections, however small, can get away without a front man. Or two
> three or four. But rarely vice versa.
> Then there are the (mainly 'New Orleans' style) frontliners who, when not
> soloing, insist on clapping along on the offbeat. Or, even worse, use a
> 'slap stick', a tambourine or some-such. Does this reflect a lack of
> confidence in their rhythm-mates?
> The thing is, that many frontline musicians, unless they also have
> experience playing in a rhythm section, can't keep time.
> They just think they can. It also makes our job in the engine room much
> harder, trying to ignore them.
> While on this subject, I will also mention musicians who think they can
> sing. And do. On practically every second song. Even in a band with a
> singer. Is it ego, or don't they like real singers?
> There was a band here in Sydney years ago in which the trumpet, clarinet
> trombone players all thought they could sing. And did.
> To the extent that only the first and last tunes in the long brackets were
> non-vocal. And, occasionally, not even those!
> There now!
> I feel much better.
> Very kind regards,
> Bill.
> PS: Please don't get me started on that woodblock 'tick-tock' or the
> off-beat 'clock' on the snare rim that many drummers now use.
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