Last week, I played with the OSU Jazz Ensemble at the Holland Theatre in Bellefontaine, Ohio. The place was incredible; instead of regular walls or sound panels, the place had friggen windmills and a cityscape making the pretty huge theater much more intimate. It was interesting to be in a small town playing: everyone was very welcoming, and they made the entire band a home cooked dinner before we played!
The main reason that this gig was unique for me was the good energy that was going on for the two hours that we were playing. There are two things that are necessary to have a good performance…the band, and the audience. The band needs to on it musically, but also the band needs to be collectively content with one another . I know that I play better when I’m with positive people that put off good vibes and have the same goal in mind: to enjoy the gig, to entertain, and to make the best music possible. Jim Masters started directing the OSU big band this past year. He has been one of my favorite directors because of his attitude towards the band. He puts his heart and soul into everything he is involved in, and his positive loving attitude brings out the best in everyone in the band. This one season on concerts with Jim has been the most enjoyable for me in large part due to him.
The audience is obviously a very important component in improvisatory music too. I feed off of an audience that is into the music being played. There is nothing better than an audience that is connected to the music. When the band and audience are happening, the other things (venue, sound equipment etc.) really don’t matter! It just becomes the most basic of things: A band playing their own music that fills a void for their listeners, that no other entertainment can fill.
In today’s modern age of immediate information, I think people are insecure about simply going to see a musical performance (I mean, many people I know can’t even listen to an entire song on their i-pod before they switch to the next one). If they can’t listen to one song on their own time, how can you expect them to sit through an hour long performance? Going to the movies can be a moving experience (depending on how good the film is), but going to see good live music can be a more transcendent experience. I think that music that is improvised can achieve a even higher level of entertainment than other music because it dares to create ideas thats don’t exist until the moment they pop into the performers brain. The fact that the audience can positively effect that is why I think improvisatory music has a future.
Alright, this has turned into me claiming that everyone has ipod ADD and desperately trying to convince you to go out and see more shows (which you should). In conclusion, I had a great show, I love positive people (especially musicians with no ego on the bandstand) and hereby knibb high football rules.
Recent Movies/Music: Signed, Sealed Delivered– Stevie Wonder, Sonny Side Up-Dizzy Gillespi, Bag’s Groove– Mile’s Davis, SF Jazz Collective Live 2010- SF Jazz Collective, Medicine Music-Bobby McFerrin, Nancy Wilson With Cannonball Addreley– Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley, Black Dynamite-Scott Sanders, Annie Hall- Woody Allen.
Here is one of my favorite tracks from signed sealed delivered.