[Dixielandjazz] Some classical musicians

LARRY'S Signs and Large Format Printing sign.guy at charter.net
Sun Mar 27 22:07:37 PST 2005

When I was in college I needed to play to live.  I had a wife and a son and I was about 20 years old with nothing but a music  scholarship and what my wife and I could earn.  I had to play for whomever had some bucks and that included some pretty raunchy places.  Several of my professors were horrified that I played across the river and discriminated against me in a lot of ways because I just wasn't quite up to snuff.  But I was a pretty good classical oboe player or at least the best they had so I had some protection from the group that wanted me out because I was a bad influence.  I can't even remember how many lectures that I got on how playing the saxophone in those places would ruin my chops and tone and was the reason I didn't play as accurately as they wanted.  They condescended to let me graduate but froze me out of graduate school because I didn't follow the rules all the while telling me what a great future I had in a symphony somewhere.

Fortunately most colleges have seen the light and even include jazz studies in their programs.  Unfortunately a lot of these guys think they are jazz musicians and can teach it but that's a whole other thread.

Over my career I have met so many musical snobs that I want to puke and that includes the local jazz club too.

It seems to be true that the more one studies something the more that other things fade away.  The best musicians seem to be obsessed with perfection no matter what kind of music they play.  It also seems to be true that classical musicians don't swing and good jazz musicians struggle with reading and accuracy if they can read at all. It seems that the better one gets on either side the less likelihood that they will do the other well.  Whether this is left brain right brain stuff or just personal preference I really don't know.

Yes I know that everyone knows the exception to this and there are many.  Unfortunately I just don't know many.  I play regularly with one of the best young trumpet players in town.  He plays with some salsa bands and brass groups and reads really well.  He just struggles with solos and they frustrate him.  He has gotten to where he just hates blues and jazz solos yet he has technique, endurance and range out the ying yang. The guy just can't embellish a melody or play a solo with any meaning although when he plays the notes are all correct.  He plays fair piano too so he knows what he is doing.

My friend just can't do what I do but my reading and musical accuracy is nowhere near his.

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