So, I had my bi-monthly jazz band rehearsal last night. I came to find out that the Bass player and one of the trumpet players decided to quit do to some huff about the Bass player. Long story short, the bass player plays electric bass, and basically, she was loud most all the time. Like boom boom boom loud. I forget exactly what tune we were doing, but we were trying to get a less boomy sound from her, like more mids than bass. To get the boom out. Anyhow, she got totally offended and quit. Whatever. This is just the setup for this post.
The trumpet player. Ok, he is a retired teacher. That is all fine. However, he always has to say this or that about how a tune should be played. Ok, fine, that is all good. It is good to know how Band X did it on recording Y 50,000 years ago. A good band will take that information and maybe use it or consider it while playing. But I personally don’t think that is the point of playing. You are supposed to bring your own take to the song, be it bad or good.
Now, I’ve been trying to bring in different music for the band to play. Like I found this great arrangement of Crescent City Stomp by Kris Berg, and Greensleeves by Greg Yasinitsky. Anyhow, I found out he quit not only to back his bass player friend, but also that he was offended to play such music. WTF? Huh? So is there some sort of standard that he breaks playing these? I mean, he ain’t exactly the world’s hottest player. Most of the time he was back there putzing around and missing notes on charts. I wasn’t expecting to play the tunes every rehearsal, but there is only so many times you can play Shiny Stockings, or Cherokee before you want to gouge your eyes out. Change is a good thing and new is sometimes good. Heck, a lot of the band members liked the variation, especially the rhythm section. Is there some sort of legal statute that was broken when playing these? Heck, we have played (and he has soloed on) a couple of really bad arrangements of tunes (Moondance comes to mind).
I find it rather interesting that when he brought in tunes, they all pretty much sounded the same. About the same level, a good middle school or high school could pull off (something he didn’t like about the charts I was bringing in). Arrangements off obscure albums with bands that no one knows. Charts that you’d play and wish you could have that 4 minutes back because it was just like the last one. Or you now know why no one ever plays that chart.
I didn’t like those charts, nor the times when he ran the band and we basically were forced to suffer a rehearsal with him running it. But I didn’t quit over it. Music is music, and I have an open mind to at least playing something a couple of time, if I like it, great, if not, someone else might like it. It is a group thing, not “we are playing all my tunes like it or not”.
Well, whatever. Seems he wants to ride his high horse to wherever it takes him. Good luck with that. We will continue to play a variety of music without him. In fact, the subs last night sounded a lot better than him. And boy, we played a lot more tunes without him asking obvious questions on the form, articulation, or why something was written this way or that. Must be a teacher complex thing.
I will miss the bass player though…..oh well, you have to do what you feel is right.