[Dixielandjazz] Re: "In the Mood Sax Solo"

Stan Brager sbrager at socal.rr.com
Thu Jun 23 12:46:39 PDT 2005


Most of the swing bands which I've seen in my lifetime have found ways to
accommodate those who want to hear the "old favorites" as well as the
musicians in the band who are looking for the challenge and the joy of
playing something new. Their methods generally include a period in which
they may play 10 - 15 minutes of the "old favorites" in an hour. The rest of
the consists of newer items in the band's book. Other leaders will throw in
an old favorite every so often - sometimes it's markedly shorter than the
band's original recording. Still others will play a medley of the old

Some leaders, like Duke Ellington, will rearrange the old favorites.

Whatever method or methods which are chosen, these compromises are necessary
for a band which has made it's mark playing to the average listener who
looks at the band's music as part of their popular culture.

Artie Shaw had his own way of dealing with the problem as you and others
have pointed out. However, I doubt that Shaw would have stayed with music as
he so stated in the Sudhalter interview. He would have tired of having to
appear in public as a performer playing the same clarinet night after night.
And he knew that he wasn't enough of a jazzman to compete on that basis

The only jazz leaders to truly survive were Count Basie, Duke Ellington,
Woody Herman, and to a lesser extent, Harry James.

Stan Brager
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: "Henry Mason" <hcmsjo at gmail.com>; "LARRY'S Signs and Large Format
Printing" <sign.guy at charter.net>
Cc: "DJML" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2005 6:05 AM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Re: "In the Mood Sax Solo"

> on 6/23/05 12:22 AM, Henry Mason at hcmsjo at gmail.com wrote:
> > On 6/22/05, LARRY'S Signs and Large Format Printing
> > <sign.guy at charter.net> wrote:
> >
> >> I agree that the tunes are boring and have little jazz quality about
> >> I think that most popular music isn't written with Jazz in mind and
> >> and jazz arrangements come later.  Pop is all about the buck and it
> >> changed.  Miller was no different.  If Miller had lived
> >> another 30 years how many times do you think he would have had to play
> >> the Mood?  I think he would have grown to hate it.
> >
> > I asked Woody Herman that very question about "Woodchoppers Ball"   He
> > said and I quote "If you had a tune that had been as good to you as
> > "Woodchoppers" has been to me you would play it on every gig too".
> > Later on, I asked Buddy Morrow the same question about "Night Train"
> > and got essentially the same answer.   The people who REALLY hate
> > night train are the sax players on the Dorsey band, because when
> > Morrow calls up Night Train they have to do the sax waving
> > choriography that goes with it.
> For the opposite view, consider Artie Shaw who quit music because of the
> constant "demands" of his audience for his hit tunes, "Begin the Beguine"
> and "Frenesi". Lordy, I get requests for them to this day by audience
> members in my age bracket (or older).
> Sudhalter's interview of Shaw: (snipped for brevity, context retained)
> "Let's say you'd have been free to organize ensembles, commission
> arrangements . . . do what you wanted, all with out the pressure . . for
> acceptance of popular audiences . . ."
> "You mean no Beguine, no Frenesi . . . No people tugging at me, reminding
> me. 'We made you'"?
> "Just so. Just music. No obligations or compromises . . . underwriting
> enough to allow you to do what you wanted, musically . . "
> . . . "I'd have probably stayed with music the rest of my life." . . .
> The complete interview (a gem) is in Sudhalter's "Lost Chords" - Oxford
> University Press. If folks don't have this book, it is impossible for them
> to really understand either the music, or the musicians.
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone

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