[Dixielandjazz] Band Leaders Live in the Real World

Gluetje1 at aol.com Gluetje1 at aol.com
Wed Nov 4 10:06:40 PST 2009

I have been reading with interest the responses to the "hypothetical  
question" as well as the new threads that developed in response.  Several  of 
posts have been helpful in getting me to think broader.
We probably each gravitate to certain instruments and further  to certain 
styles, timbres, on that instrument.  I know I do and  that it particularly 
effects how likely I am to spend money  to listen to an unfamiliar group.
But I also try to keep in mind that band leaders do not get to choose their 
 members in an ideal world.  I have had good learning from leaders who  are 
willing to let me in on what is going into their decisions.  A couple  of 
years ago a band I really enjoyed stopped using a banjo.  I asked about  it 
and learned several things.  1. The leader had an absolutely  coherent  and 
appropriate list of job specification for a replacement  banjoist, just no 
one applying who could meet those requirements.  (He sent  me his list of job 
requirements -- that's why I can judge them  appropriate.)  2.  The Leader 
also told me that it was running about  50/50; i.e., fans who wanted him to 
keep using banjo compared to fans who  appreciated that the band was going 
forward without same.
Another thing I try to keep in mind is that musicians most enjoyed by the  
audience, usually for their solo abilities or their antics, may be far from  
ideal in their contribution to the solidarity of the group.  Here I think  
particularly of the rhythm section.  The bass instrument, keyboard, frets,  
and/or drummer may be wonderful soloists.  But they may do a very poor job  
of laying out the harmonic structure and/or keeping time for the band.

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