[Dixielandjazz] The First OKOM Band

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Oct 8 09:10:37 PDT 2004

It came to pass in the night that the Lord awoke Noah, saying:

"Noah, awaken and heed my words!"

And Noah didst tremble, saying, "Lord, why hath thou wakened me?"

And the Lord did say, "Noah, build me an OKOM Band.  For the earth will be
visited by a  plague of Brides, followed by forty days of Trade Shows and
forty nights of Awards Banquets followed by Rock & Roll and Country/Western
Music. They will all be jazz oblivious. This pleaseth me not and so we must
invent jazz."

And Noah didst say, "Command me Lord."

And the Lord didst say,  "First, thou must find me a leader."

And Noah replied, "But Lord, will I not be thy leader?"

And the Lord sayeth; "Fool, thou will be my contractor.  Ask  not why!"

And Noah didst bow his head, saying, "Yes my Lord. And what instrument will
the leader play?"

And the lord said, "It matters little whether he play or not, or whether he
be proficient or not. For his job shall primarily be to schmooze, and to
deal with clients, and to count the tempos wrong, and to inquire as to
whether overtime will happen, and to try to segue tunes that should not be
segued.  If he playeth any instrument, thou must  always have another player
of that instrument in the band just to be safe."

And Noah didst say, "And what else shall this leader do?"

And the Lord  replied, "It shall be his job to spread bad information and
confusion amongst the sidemen and to pit them one against the other, and to
delay all payments

"Further shall it be  his job, until we can afford a soundman, to create
feedback, and to invent new equalization."

And Noah didst shake his head in wonder, saying, "Lord, thy ways are
strange and mysterious.  What more shall I do?"

And the Lord said, "Next, find me a Rhythm Section. First, find me a
drummer.  And three things above all must this drummer possess."

"First, this drummer must have slightly imperfect time, so that whenever he
playeth a fill(and he shall play many), he always emergeth at a different
place, but thou may not guess which, nor where 'one' now is."

"And second, he must be supremely discontent, always  hoping for the Big
Break which will lead  him to playing with Wedding Bands or for other high
paying gigs, so that he secretly despiseth OKOM."

"And third, he must always be convinced of his righteousness, in all things,
including time, volume, tempo  and feel, so that he argueth always with the
leader and the bass player."

And Noah didst say,  "Bass player?"

And the Lord didst say, "Yes, Bass player. He shall be bored. That is All."

And Noah didst say, "Of course.  And next, my Lord?"

And the Lord did say, "Next shall be the Keyboard Player. And he shall play
as if he has twenty fingers, and he shall play substitute upon substitute,
until no man may name the chord, and he will not be helpful. Furthermore, he
shall  always be late.  And he shall always be trying out new gear of which
he has no knowledge."

And Noah didst wonder aloud, "Lord, Great is thy wisdom!"

And the  Lord didst wisely continue, "Next shall be the Guitar Player and he
shall be loud, and he shall sing off key.  Also shall he know not The Page,
and so shall rely upon his ears, which have been damaged by exposure to high
sound pressure levels.  For guitar players who read shall already being
playing shows, and will be making the big shekels. And his uniform shall be
the rattiest."

And the Lord didst  say, "Next thou shall need Horns."

"First shall be Saxophones and Clarinets.  And they shall either be
Beboppers who play Bird quotes in every song,  yea, even the ballad medley,
or copiers of Johnny Dodds and Sidney Bechet. They  shall get drunk and high
on every break, chase but never catch women, and make long faces all night
long, but especially when "Bill Bailey" is called."

"Next, shall be the Trumpeters.  And they shall every one attempt to take
everything up an octave, and fail frequently.  And of changes they shall
know nothing."

"And finally shall be the Trombone Player.  And many jokes will be made
about him, for he will have a beeper that never beeps, as well as a day job,
and he will be the first to be cut from the  band."

And Noah, taking many  notes, didst say, "Mighty is the Lord!"

"Next, shall be the String Player.  He will attach pickups to his violin
that is more ancient even than myself, so that the instrument screecheth and
causeth great pain."

"His job shall be to dress in foppish clothing with hair in a pony tail, to
fake parts, and to complain about the volume and the intonation, and to
impede the swing."

And Noah didst say, "What can be left, Lord?"

And  the Lord didst say, Finally, find me the singers."

"And they shall be two, one male and one female."

"And the male shall be a  strutting peacock, with girlie man hair, and he
shall never have to wear the tuxedo, and also shall play the harmonica."

"The female shall ALWAYS sing the power ballads, and the novelty songs. She
shall sing backup for the male, and forget the words, and be late, and know
nothing of keys or form."

And together, they shall leave every gig immediately, having  never touched
a piece of equipment."

"And they shall be paid more shekels than the sidemen.  Ask not why."

And the Lord continued: "Together they shall be melded into a dissonant band
that plays mysterious polyrhythmic music called Jazz. It shall grow to
immense proportions in New Orleans amongst sinners, whorehouses and honky
tonks several millennia from now. But fear not within a 100 years from
birth, it shall be played in Churches and other places of high learning. And
it shall be called art. Go figureth."

And the lord didst  command him, "Search high and low for these, as not
every musician can fulfill these requirements.  And though we have no work
yet, a commitment  must be secured from all.  And while your at it, start
looking for subs."

And Noah didst say, "Lord, thy will be done."

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