[Dixielandjazz] Speaking of classics

LARRY'S Signs and Large Format Printing sign.guy at charter.net
Fri Oct 15 15:52:19 PDT 2004

Bill said:
The seductive thing about how he plays is that it's fast and complicated and
sounds "skillful" - "Wow! That guy can PLAY!"  I'm trying to ignore that
siren call, though.

I'm knee deep in guys like that. Because someone got the idea that it was cool and they said hey! I can teach that.  Always use the KISS principal.  Don't try to keep up with the other soloist.  You will always lose if you play the other guys game.  By the way I really don't like bebop very much.  It's a lot like getting in a car and driving very fast and forgetting where you are going.  In real life they lock you up for that, in music they say WOW!

.Remember this if nothing else.  You can teach technique but you can't teach art and lots of right notes put in the wrong place is gibberish.

Don't let those guys intimidate you.  Do what you can do well and forget what the other guy did.  Think contrast.   I have heard young players just fold up and not be able to do anything when a good player is on the band.  Do your thing and be proud of it.  Tape yourself and listen to it at least 10 times.  What would you do different?  Was it in tune?  Was it what you wanted to say?  If the answers are to get someone to say Wow or I did it perfect then you should go study bebop, get really fast so you can tell everyone else they suck.  

There is a guy in town that can technically play circles around me and he gets a lot of wows.  I went to him once on a gig and told him that I didn't understand his solos very much and I was thinking that maybe I wasn't as knowledgeable as I thought.  Maybe he could help me to understand what he was doing.  I told him I thought it sounded like a lot of notes to me. He was pretty insulted by my questions and went off in a huff.  I guess if you have to ask what Picasso was saying you shouldn't probably ask.  My thought is, he really didn't know what he is doing except he does it really quick.  I was actually trying to understand his music.  The thing is I think I really know what he's doing.

Would you say wow if an athlete got a really fast start,  ran quicker than anyone else,  looked good while he did it but was running in the wrong direction?  Think about it.

My thought is that a solo should have a starting point, a middle and an end much like a good book to have any meaning.  Bebop and Jazz as taught in schools today is like taking the book, cutting it up into individual sentences, putting them in a box and drawing out the slips.  You could say that each slip was a perfect thought and conveyed a meaning and was complete within its self.  But if you think you can make sense of it you are better than I am or on drugs like the "Bird"


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