[Dixielandjazz] Struck by a chord

Stephen G Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 27 07:21:13 PDT 2009

Larry Walton wrote (polite snip excerpts)

"One of the most technically gifted sax players I know blows so many  
notes that don't seem to go anywhere . . . this is the guy that  
everyone goes WOW over. . . to my ear anyway, (it) doesn't seem to  
hang together. . . The band leader who is a wonderful player himself,  
privately agrees with me byut as long as this guy is available he will  
keep hiring him . . . Go figure."

Dear Larry & Listmates:

Reminds me of what Miles Davis told Saxophonist Dave Liebman. As you  
know, DL is a master player and when he first joined Miles in one of  
Miles's most popular bands, he played his usual rapid fire note style.  
Miles, was playing few notes, leaving lots of space by contrast. The  
audiences flocked to see this band.

Liebman, unsure in the beginning of how he should play in the group,  
asked Davis about whether he should tone down his note production in  
order to blend more harmoniously with what Miles was doing.  
"(expletive deleted)" NO, said Miles. "The audience likes to see your  
fingers move fast."

IMO, Miles was no dummy when it came to pleasing his vast audience. He  
knew what they wanted and gave it to them without compromising his own  
artistic integrity. Heck, whether we like it or not as individuals, he  
changed the direction of the music about 6 or 7 times while  
maintaining audience adulation.

That's how he got to drive Ferraris and Lamborghinis. <grin>

Steve Barbone

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