[Dixielandjazz] Adding youthful Members

Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis larrys.bands at charter.net
Wed May 26 13:32:52 PDT 2010

The trend in all solos no matter what the style is tempo de tearass.  The 
faster you play the more claps you get and that's not only from the 
audience.  People seem to want to hear musical gymnastics rather than tasty 

A couple of the groups here are known for their "faster than anyone else" 
tunes and they are making money.

The concert mentality started in the late 60's and people quit dancing.  Yes 
they did stand and gyrate like strippers but formal dances were out.

When I was young (dark ages) the best thing in the world was a belly rubber 
but that just isn't the case any more.

Like you, I like taste over speed and you may be right about the tempos 
played.  They really aren't dance tempos.

There is another thing - playing slow tempos requires more musicianship than 
wiggling your fingers fast.  IMO a slow tune is much harder to bring off and 
make sound good because you start needing to phrase, play in tune, use 
dynamics and all the other musical things that make a solo nice.  Did you 
ever notice that a lot of those things are missing in the typical solo 
played at fast speeds.

Last Memorial day I did a big band concert.  The lead alto player played the 
first dozen or so bars of Amazing Grace by himself on Soprano before the 
band came in.  This was a 20+ year member of an AF band and he absolutely 
knocked it out of the ball park.  Not one clap from the audience.  Too bad 
it was one of the best Soprano solos I have ever heard.

Maybe if he had only played it at 240.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Phil Wilking" <philwilking at bellsouth.net>
To: "Larry Walton" <larrys.bands at charter.net>
Cc: "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 4:01 PM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Adding youthful Members

> If you will (can find a place to) play where teen-agers can hear you - 
> perhaps shopping malls and such - and will play at tempos a human can 
> dance to - the young people will come - at first to jeer and then they 
> will start to dance. You have to seek them out, they are not looking for 
> you.
> Tempos to dance to are critical, you are trying to be attractive to an 
> audience which has never heard anything like you before and is completely 
> self-absorbed. They DON'T CARE how musically amazing you can be, so save 
> the virtuoso showing off with strange extended chords for the after-hours 
> jam session. The same applies to long announcements between tunes: they 
> don't care about the history, they want to polish their belt buckles. Use 
> old traditional jazz warhorses - King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, etc., 
> they have strong rhythms and good melodies which will stick in the kids' 
> minds despite the raging hormone fog.
> Again, KEEP THE SPEED DOWN! Yes, through familiarity, it is going to seem 
> draggy to you - SO WHAT? Your object is to get the girls moving to the 
> music. As soon as the girls start to move to the music, you have found 
> your proper tempo. Foot tapping is a beginning, but it isn't good enough, 
> you want full body movement. When the girls begin to wiggle, the boys will 
> join in. If they don't know how to Charleston or Black Bottom (and who 
> will?), they'll make something up on the spot and be very happy.
> I have seen it happen.
> Phil Wilking
> Those who would exchange freedom for
> security deserve neither freedom nor security.
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Beth Schweitzer" <beth at portafortuna.com>
>> I agree that we need to attract more young people, but I think the real
>> problem is in attracting a younger audience - not younger musicians.
>> How do we get young people interested in listening to
>> OKOM? What can we do to make it "cool" or "hot" or whatever temperature
>> is in style today?
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