4

Best of Mr. P.C. 2016

Best of Mr. P.C. 2016
Mr. P.C. By

Sign in to view read count
Dear Mr. P.C.:

I'm just an audience member, but I have a question on behalf of a lot of us listeners:

If I make a request and the band plays it, do I have to listen to the whole thing? After they play the melody and then go into all the other stuff, sometimes I'd rather talk to my friends or just leave.

—Short Attention Span Suzie


Dear SASS:

Don't you think the guys in the band would rather talk to their friends or just leave too? Your request—which you never should have made—is a compact; it binds you and the band together in what becomes a set period of shared suffering.

Only the silence at the end can set you and the band free; that's why the last note of "Moondance" is always the sweetest.

Dear Mr. P.C.:

I took my son to see his teacher play sax at a local club. In the middle of a song, on stage, his teacher pulled out a cell phone and started texting someone. What kind of message does that send? —Can't Explain Lackluster Lesson


Dear CELL:

Probably "Hey I'm here on stage texting in the middle of a song, LOL."

Dear Mr. P.C.:

When we're playing a "background music" gig and the crowd is so loud there's no way they can hear us, and we can't even hear ourselves, does it matter what we play?

—Invisible Dan


Dear Dan:

Jazz is all about responding, in the moment, to the sounds around you, right? To do otherwise is dishonest and untrue to the art form. So of course it matters what you play; you need to play the music of not being able to hear yourself, music of frustration, rage and—above all—inaudibility.

Liberated from burdens like intonation, note selection, tone quality and time, you can focus instead on creating music that fully deserves not to be heard.

Dear Mr. P.C.:

I just played a gig with a bad banjo player. I spent a lot of time learning the music, and the gig went fine. My problem is that now I can't get that music out of my head. It's killing me! What am I supposed to do?

—Troubled in Tallahassee


Dear Troubled:

Unfortunately, offensive music in your head can only be displaced by music that's more offensive—that's how the banjo music got in there to begin with. So if you really want to get rid of it you could always listen to bagpipes or kazoos, but at some point you'll have to ask yourself: "Could I face death with this as my final soundtrack?"

For now, a better question is this: How and why, in the course of evolution, did humans develop a predilection toward filling their heads with painful music? The answer: If their heads were instead filled with beautiful sounds, humans would become complacent, content to sit idly and enjoy their internal concerti. Bad music motivates humans to take action, even if their march forward is just a desperate attempt to escape, their heads ringing with escalating sounds insufferable.

It's a bleak commentary on existence—mankind forever in motion, running from increasingly torturous music that finally proves inescapable. Unfortunately, that's the formula for progress; on the brighter side, death becomes something no longer to be feared.

Have a question for Mr. P.C.? Ask him.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Booze in the Night, CD or Not CD?, and Malodorous Microphone Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Booze in the Night, CD or Not CD?, and Malodorous Microphone
by Mr. P.C.
Published: May 3, 2017
Read Solving the Audience Equation, The Fix is On, and It's a Setup! Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Solving the Audience Equation, The Fix is On, and It's...
by Mr. P.C.
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Best of Mr. P.C. 2016 Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Best of Mr. P.C. 2016
by Mr. P.C.
Published: December 10, 2016
Read Easy Swing, Fours and More, Medicinal Jazz Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Easy Swing, Fours and More, Medicinal Jazz
by Mr. P.C.
Published: December 1, 2016
Read Death By Banjo, Playing With Emotion, and Musical Divorce Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Death By Banjo, Playing With Emotion, and Musical Divorce
by Mr. P.C.
Published: October 27, 2016
Read Background Gigs, Small Fonts, and Incestuous Quotes Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Background Gigs, Small Fonts, and Incestuous Quotes
by Mr. P.C.
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Easy Swing, Fours and More, Medicinal Jazz" Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Easy Swing, Fours and More, Medicinal Jazz
by Mr. P.C.
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Booze in the Night, CD or Not CD?, and Malodorous Microphone" Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Booze in the Night, CD or Not CD?, and Malodorous Microphone
by Mr. P.C.
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Solving the Audience Equation, The Fix is On, and It's a Setup!" Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Solving the Audience Equation, The Fix is On, and It's...
by Mr. P.C.
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Best of Mr. P.C. 2016" Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Best of Mr. P.C. 2016
by Mr. P.C.
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Death By Banjo, Playing With Emotion, and Musical Divorce" Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Death By Banjo, Playing With Emotion, and Musical Divorce
by Mr. P.C.
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra: Consummation – 1970" My Blue Note Obsession Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra: Consummation – 1970
by Marc Davis
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "Sabu Martinez: Palo Congo – 1957" My Blue Note Obsession Sabu Martinez: Palo Congo – 1957
by Marc Davis
Published: January 17, 2017
Read "Take Five with Jennifer Bellor" Take Five With... Take Five with Jennifer Bellor
by Jennifer Bellor
Published: August 23, 2016
Read "Two Sackville Gems: Abdullah Ibraihim's "Ancient Africa" and Oliver Lake and Joseph Bowie's "Live at A Space 1976"" Multiple Reviews Two Sackville Gems: Abdullah Ibraihim's "Ancient...
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: June 2, 2017
Read "Louis Smith: Here Comes Louis Smith – 1957" My Blue Note Obsession Louis Smith: Here Comes Louis Smith – 1957
by Marc Davis
Published: September 12, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!