3

Inside Out

Inside Out
Mr. P.C. By

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

I was playing bass on a trio gig along with a guitarist and drummer. I was comping during a drum solo and I suddenly heard "Quit playing!" from across the room. Now I don't always lay it down for drummers, but this guy did not know the form of any of the tunes we played, so I thought some nice hits and sparse walking in key parts of the tune would help keep things together. I did lay out in some tunes after that, and it was a free-for-all, as far as form goes, during the drum solos.

Should I expect drummers to stick to the form when they are soloing?

—Stickler, SC


Dear Stickler:

What is form but an artificial construct, a tool of oppression? It's designed to hem musicians in, keep them racing around within it like hamsters on exercise wheels. Outside the form lies an entire world; inside it just a bunch of looping chord changes.

If your drummer has managed to escape, you should joyfully follow him—two wrongfully imprisoned musicians busting free. And if the guitarist refuses to join you, it's because he's decided the food and shelter he earns by playing "inside" make it worth being the music's bitch.

Dear Mr. P.C.:

"Outside jazz," "inside jazz": Who came up with these terms, and what exactly do they mean?

—Stuck in the Middle


Dear Stuck:

It should be obvious: "Inside jazz" is meant to be played inside; it's an unobtrusive, soothing style that pairs well with fine wine and upscale decor. "Outside jazz" should be played outside; it has a ferocious sound that protects the audience by keeping predators at bay.

There is no room for compromise: When inside jazz is played outside, its polite tinkling dissipates into inaudibility. And when outside jazz is played inside, its angry tone turns four-course gourmet dining into ordinary indigestion.

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

Post a comment

Tags

More

Jazz article: Plight at the End of the Tunnel
Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette and Bandstand Decorum
Plight at the End of the Tunnel
Jazz article: Going Viral
Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette and Bandstand Decorum
Going Viral
Jazz article: The Four-Letter Word, Chatty Clubowner, Knobby Guitarist
Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette and Bandstand Decorum
The Four-Letter Word, Chatty Clubowner, Knobby Guitarist
Jazz article: Elusive Spontaneity, Mooed Indigo
Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette and Bandstand Decorum
Elusive Spontaneity, Mooed Indigo
Jazz article: Cursing, Gambling, Drinking and Smoking
Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette and Bandstand Decorum
Cursing, Gambling, Drinking and Smoking
Jazz article: Best of 2020
Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette and Bandstand Decorum
Best of 2020
Jazz article: Inside Out
Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette and Bandstand Decorum
Inside Out
Jazz article: Talking While Playing, Sub Division, and Translating Scat
Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette and Bandstand Decorum
Talking While Playing, Sub Division, and Translating Scat

Popular

Read Charles Mingus: An Essential Top Ten Albums
Read Top Ten Kennedy Center Musical Moments

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.