[Dixielandjazz] The Pick Up Bands

LARRY'S Signs and Large Format Printing sign.guy at charter.net
Mon Jun 27 15:23:33 PDT 2005

The civilians just don't get the concept at all.  I travel in a circle of
about 30 musicians most of whom could be called on to do the job and sound
polished and tight.  We know most of the same tunes and even if we don't
they make it sound like they have known the tune all their lives.  Many of
those guys are band leaders in their own right who hire each other.  There
is an unwritten rule and that is, no one ever talks to the other guys
customer or tries to book the same venue without letting him know.  I work
for them and they work for me.  We are like a secretarial pool sort of.
Obviously nobody screws around with this relationship just to pick off a
job.  We also pass other guys gigs we can't handle.

The only problem that I ran into is photos.  People expect to see the same
guys as in the publicity photos.  To fix this I only use my photo now.  If
your band has been together for "years".  (Musician years are kind of like
dog years in reverse and resemble others minutes.  10 minutes = 10 years).
If your band has been together for "Real" years then Maybe you don't have a

Sometimes real pick up bands (reading non jazz) can have real difficulties
when the arrangements are difficult and most if not all the group have been
hired at random.  This can lead to real disasters.

Larry -- St. Louis
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: "DJML" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Monday, June 27, 2005 12:11 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] The Pick Up Bands

> Brian Priebe, from Waverly MD, well known to PRJC members and trombonist
> with Last Chance Jazz Band, came up to play a couple of gigs with Barbone
> Street on June 25 and 26. He was subbing for Glenn Dodson who is on a
> teaching sabbatical in Sweden.
> First gig, Saturday evening near Reading PA. Private party at a completely
> restored and very beautiful 19th century farmhouse on top of a hill in the
> woods above the Schuykill River.
> Trumpeter was a sub also. Al Harrison, just off the Delta Queen after a
> month on the Mississippi. Al is an extraordinary jazz trumpeter well known
> here in the Middle Atlantic States and one of the very best in the USA. He
> currently works one month on, one off on the Mississippi Paddle boats.
> Piano was sub Bill Whited. Kind of modern but then, he played with Jerry
> Colonna and Ish Kibibble, as well as Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Ray McKinley et
> so he speaks the language also.
> A great time was had by all, and the ultimate compliment paid to the band
> a very knowledgeable jazz fan in Reading was: "What a great sound, you
> must have been playing together a long time." Well half the band was the
> usual suspects, but the other half were 2 first timers and one who played
> with us exactly 3 times prior. Pick up band? Sure, but if the band players
> speak "jazz", it makes no difference whether they know each other or not.
> Second gig Sunday afternoon at the Lutheran Home (retirement facility) in
> Topton, again near Reading. We did a concert, this time with our regular
> guitarist and so the only new guys were Brian, and cornetist Vinny
> who plays with Peter Nero and Philadelphia Pops when not recording as a
> studio musician in NYC., or with Vince Giordano. A good time was had by
> and again, a jazz fan (who wants to book us in Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton
> area paid us a great compliment. "What a tight, swinging band. You must
> rehearse a lot.
> Just goes to show that unrehearsed bands, if they are made up of good jazz
> musicians like Brian, Al, Vinny, Bill and our usual suspects, can easily
> produce a phenomenal audience reaction. Heck, I don't even call the tunes
> until we're about to play them. Just signal the key via fingers and then
> call the tune and count off. What you get is everybody's attention and
> on the spot jazz improvisation.
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone
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