Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun Jun 19 20:07:52 PDT 2005

Do kids hear differently?

Not the way I see/hear them. Barbone Street encourages lots of kids to sit
in over the course of the year. Some are wonderful players, some not. But
all of the hear what we are doing.

Case in Point:

Just back from a public park gig this evening. Caln Township, PA. Was
surprised to see 4 visitors from sister city Caln UK. As an aside, had an
interesting discussion abourt OKOM in the UK with them.

Our featured sit-in tonight was a 17 year old trumpet player who plays in
his high school band and in The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. Limited jazz
training from the "Real Book" with his HS Jazz Band, recently disbanded.

After checking his Real Book, I asked him if he could play "All of Me" and
"In a Mello Tone."" Sure", he said, "I'll learn them now."

Oops thinks I . . . "Have you ever played them?" . . . "Nope"

Oops thinks I . . . "Have you ever heard them played? . . . "Nope"

"I'll learn them now", he said, but I don't think I have time to memorize
them. Do you mind if I read them?"

Oops thinks I . . . "Nope, learn them now (we had 10 minutes to showtime)
and borrow a music stand from the TB player who has one in his car."

Well. I called him up for "All of Me" for the third tune, after he listens
to the band play "Margie" & "Ain't Misbehavin'."

I tell kid to play lead and he is looking very nervous. Lo and behold, he
plays lead virtually perfectly and is swinging. Two solos from front line
then I tell him to solo. He is nervous still, but his solo is better than
that of some Dixieland Band trumpeters I have heard recently.

Later on with "In a Mellow Tone" he plays a perfect lead and goes on to take
a damn good solo.

We also brought him up in the middle of Tin Roof Blues, our guy playing lead
because we have no music for it and the kid blows a damn good BLUES solo.

I ask him what he would like to play with just him and rhythm and he chooses
"Funny Valentine". He is wonderful on it.

Point is, this kid hears better than a lot of so called OKOM jazz musicians
out there and better than most OKOM jazz fans out there. He hears just like
a Real Jazz Musician. (please don't ask me what that is)

Funny Valentine was the only tune he had ever played before. He had never
even heard the others. He never even heard our band before. But he heard the
band, there, on the spot, and was able to play with us. He was able to
converse with us in the language of jazz. He "heard".

Yep, it's easy to down the kids, make smart remarks about them, etc., ad
nauseum. But, then, how many of us really get with them in situations such
as above? This young man was about the 20th kid that sat in with us this
year. He represents a large portion of our audience. These kids do indeed
hear. It is a pity that many other OKOM bands around, do not make similar
efforts to find out about the kids. Easier, I guess, to snipe about them
without any base of knowledge or experience upon which to rely.

Steve Barbone

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list