[Dixielandjazz] Getting tired of popular songs

Elazar Brandt larryb at actcom.co.il
Thu Jun 23 05:17:53 PDT 2005

> -----Original Message-----
> 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".

Just an upstart talking here, but it seems to me, if any of us are lucky enough
to succeed in making a living as musicians, that we have a lot of nerve
complaining about how many times we have to play a song. Isn't that sort of what
we wanted to do? To get paid to play the music?

My little group which is still half students of mine has a repertoire of some 50
or 60 tunes, plus a few Jewish party standards that are not jazz but are
mandatory at many of our gigs. It's enough to cover a 4 hour gig with some
reserve, and most of our gigs are not 4 hours, so we can vary the play list from
one job to another. We try to add a couple of new tunes a month, but they don't
replace the old ones.

There are some songs I look forward to and others I just play when they're
called. We try to do new things with the songs from time to time to increase our
skills and the quality of the show. But each venue is different, and each
audience is different, and each gig is unique, and I like Zorba the Greek's
attitude (in his case, about making love to a lot of women) that "each time is
the first time".

We play the Saints in almost every show, either to end the show, or to end a
set. We do the march whenever the conditions permit. Come on, folks, it's part
of the show. It's one of the things the audience pays for. Why complain about
it? Do it and enjoy it, and thank G-d you're not working in a car wash and
playing the song for tips on a street corner. There's still time to play the
newer stuff if you want more variety.

NOTE: Between my earlier email and this one we booked 3 more gigs during the
coming 3 weeks. Geez... if I have to play one more Bb...

My 2 shekels' worth.

Doctor Jazz Band
Tekiya Trumpet Ensemble
Jerusalem, Israel
Tel: +972-2-679-2537

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