[Dixielandjazz] Hypothetical question

Ron L'Herault lherault at bu.edu
Tue Nov 3 12:04:58 PST 2009

What follows is speculation on my part.  

Permanently replace (as opposed to a one night sub/dep) any rhythm section
person with a better one and the better one will be worn out either dragging
the others along or trying to hold them back. He or she will probably quit
from the frustration of others not keeping a steady beat.  Replace any front
line musician and, if the rhythm section is competent but not showy, you
will probably be OK, although the replacement may be frustrated by the lack
of some skill component(s) in the other players.  I've seen a lead horn
replacement who is "better" than the rest of the band make the band shine
but be personally challenged/frustrated by the band's inability to keep
steady time.

Ron L.

-----Original Message-----
From: dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com
[mailto:dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com] On Behalf Of Ken Gates
Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 2:53 PM
To: lherault at bu.edu
Cc: Dixieland Jazz Mailing List
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Hypothetical question

Maybe this question will spark some interest.
Let's say there is a 7 piece OKOM band with conventional front line of
three instruments and 4 piece rhythm section.  Each player is of
but not extraordinary skill level   If ONE player were to be replaced with
a person of the very highest skill level, which instrument would make the
most difference in the upgrade of the collective sound of the group?
A member of the rhythm section?  Of the front line?  Which instrument?

I'm wondering if my choice of --- string bass player ---is shared by anyone.
Seems to me an upgrade of the  rhythm section will improve the sound of 
the front line.. Not sure if front line upgrade will necessarily improve the

function and sound of the rhythm section. 

Any opinions?

Ken Gates 

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