[Dixielandjazz] Live vs. Studio recordings.

Steve Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Nov 2 21:05:19 PDT 2007

IMO it depends upon what you are listening for, or how you hear regarding
live recordings or studio recordings.

I think most professional, improvising jazz musicians will tell you that
they are just about always more creative in live performance. In other
words, you will hear more jazz. Because, like Nancie Beaven said, they are
interacting with the audience which energizes them. And they will take more
artistic chances. And if they are not being recorded, they will create even
more, because no one is keeping score.

In studio, I think most of them are apt to play it safe because they want to
avoid the errors. So they play their most comfortable patterns. I think we
can often identify those patterns when we listen to numerous studio
recordings by the same artist.

I will never forget discussing live vs. studio with Kenny Davern in the
context of the quality of the music. He said something like, well, in
studio, its kind of masturbatory. Like making love to yourself instead of to
the audience. (And he made a lot of studio records but for other reasons)

While I agree with Rob and Paul that studio recordings, and touched up
photographs of naked women and/or models, may sound/look better, that's only
superficial. IMO, studio records do not sound better musically. And
regarding photos, the best one is a very poor substitute for the real thing.

Same goes for "patched" records where different intros, or perhaps different
parts of two different performances are patched together. If I learn about
it, I feel cheated. Basically because IMO records are like history. They are
specific events that occurred at specific times. If altered, the history is
faked and/or the record a fraud.

Steve Barbone 

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