[Dixielandjazz] Regardless of the Reason, Women Have the Stage

Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis larrys.bands at charter.net
Mon Jun 18 12:46:28 PDT 2007

The men say; "She plays like a man" and the women say "What a great player."
Very interesting. :-) VBG

There is nothing at all that says that a woman can't play jazz as well as a 
man but out here in flyover land, male jazz musicians out number female 
musicians about 100 to one with the ladies tending to play piano.  I have a 
very good friend who just got her master's in composition.  She wrote a 
couple of big band tunes that were pretty good.  She plays third alto in the 
Gary Dammer Band who is one of the best around here.  Se teaches jazz and 
does a good job with it but there is no amount of money that would get her 
to take a solo.

I think women, at least in the Midwest, tend to be more reserved and I think 
jazz requires letting it all hang out.  Personally I think women read better 
than the guys and for whatever reason are wedded to the printed page much 
more.  That has it's advantage in purely reading groups.  I think the leap 
off the printed page is not easy for many musicians but it seems to be more 
difficult the better the person reads.

Then there's the debate over weather men perform better in Mathematics, 
science and mechanics whereas women perform better in languages and writing.

Playing jazz is a lot like having sex in public - not everyone can or wants 
to do it that way.  It takes a certain leap of faith.

As an aside I think that you would also have to divide players into the 
people who compose jazz on the fly and those who play licks on chords. 
There may be differences or similarities there too with women falling either 
equally or to one side or the other.  Sounds like a Master's Thesis subject.

My thoughts are that you can teach licks and scales based on chords 
(mechanical) which is the current state of jazz education or the more 
difficult  creation of a solo on the fly which tends to be  more melodic. 
The guys that I know are predominant in the first group and the ladies that 
I know (and there aren't many) are more melodic with their jazz. (mechanics 
vs. lyrical)

Maybe colleges and teachers of jazz are trying to convert Jazz into a 
mechanical skill so that if you know enough scales, chords and licks they 
will somehow come together.

I worked this weekend with a good friend who is a very fine trumpet player 
who reads great but his solos are just bursts of notes, every one of which 
are correct but they don't go anywhere or do anything.  It seems like such a 
waste.  I'd sooner watch someone jack up a car.

You can teach the mechanics of an art such as mixing two colors together to 
get a third color but you can't teach someone how to put those colors on 
canvas to make great art.  I guess that's where I'm coming from.

I will be giving lessons to a fellow musician's son.  The boy practices two 
hours a day and is taking lessons from just about the best technical jazz 
sax player in town.  His dad on the other side likes the way I solo much 
better and wants him to learn how I do it and wants him to take some lessons 
from me too.  This could get interesting.
St. Louis
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve Barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: "Larry Walton" <larrys.bands at charter.net>

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