[Dixielandjazz] Band Set Ups

Henry Mason hcmsjo at gmail.com
Wed Dec 21 22:56:53 PST 2005

On 12/21/05, Vaxtrpts at aol.com <Vaxtrpts at aol.com> wrote:
> Without quoting a lot of Larry's response, I must agree with all that he
> said.
> 1. The "V" set up is much better for bands that play together all the time
> and know the music.

Hi Listmates,   while  I am  a bit of a novice at OKOM  (working on it)  you
are getting into an area here where I have the Tshirt, the sweatshirt and
stock in the factory.

Wide setups for a big band always tend to be more of a problem, unless the
band works just about every night.    A strong and veteran band can get away
with it, but in my experience it is never as "confident"  likely because
when we do it, it is on about one gig out of 5.    It is necessary just
often enough that the band no longer gripes when it happens so that is I
guess a good sign.   Mike is quite right in that a top pro band with great
players in every seat could set up in just about any way and get away with
it.   A friend of mine once saw the Herman band lined up in a line on top of
a bar about 30 feet long.... a straight line.    there was no other place to
set up the band.   He said it sounded great....course he used to drink a

One thing Mike mentioned re the Kenton band that should be noted.   The use
of risers.   Few bands have them and they make a huge difference.   Most
frequently, when we use a wide setup,  the trumpet we us risers on the
drums/trumpets, the rest of the rhythm on the floor in the middle in front
of the drums and the sections in a shallow V toward each others.   It works
fine for us, but everyone is miked and we use front monitors and
sidefills.    I could not see using a wide setup witout it.    It takes a
complicated setup  and we have a crew to do it.   For bands with less
equipment,  I think the standard 3 stack is the best and that is what we
prefer,  but we do  use the risers for all gigs.

OKOM content,  we have been working on ol Frank's version of "Chicago"
which starts with a fine dixieland intro.


Sentimental Journey Orchestra
Atlanta GA
Beginning our 31st year.

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list