[Dixielandjazz] Saturday - some thoughts

vaxtrpts at aol.com vaxtrpts at aol.com
Tue Jan 29 14:56:57 PST 2013

 I enjoyed LISTENING to the videos of Clint's band.  But it would be interesting to see want others of you think about the LOOK of the video.
I come from 50 years in the music business and truly lament the fact that musicians these days, come to the gig looking like they are sitting at home watching TV or sometimes worse, like they should be working in the garden. (Not so much the later in these videos.)  
I have a theory that to be a musician on stage or in another realm, a teacher infront of a class, you should look like you mean business and respect yourself, the music (or subject) and the audience (or students).  I think that a big part of the problem with deportment and lack of respect in our schools today is that the teachers look exactly like the students.  Other then on the "special Friday's" at Peggy's school - where the teachers wore Levi's and the school golf type shirt with the logo on it - Peggy always looked very nice when she went to school for those 32 years before she retired.  Her students treated her with more respect than other classes I saw where the teachers were wearing t-shirts and Levi's all the time.
I truly believe the same goes for music.  When my band plays, the least we wear are sport coats, nice shirts and slacks.  Sometimes we wear suits and ties.  I even like the look of many of the bands that used to be on the trad jazz circuit who work nice slacks and golf-type shirts with the band name on them. 
 I remember a review by the wonderful Jon Hendricks in the San Francisco Examiner of my big band when we first started, back in 1973.  (I'm sure you all know Jon as a very influential jazz vocalist, but he also did many reviews for the Examiner many years ago.)  He loved the band and the music, but he put us down for not "looking" the part of an important (or striving to be important) big band, and talked about how great the bands looked during the big band era.  HE WAS RIGHT.  And I never forgot that.  Since that time, I have never walked on stage, not looking like I "meant business."  Is it just me, or do others feel the same way?


Mike Vax
Friends of Big Band Jazz, Prescott Jazz Summit, 
Stan Kenton Alumni Band

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