1,761

Jazz Jam Sessions: A First-Timer's Guide

Bill Anschell By

Sign in to view read count
The Yuppies snicker. There is applause, first a polite smattering, then a substantial ovation. This must be Performance Art, they decide. But we understand it, and it is Good. Confidently, you stride back to the musicians, slap a couple of twenties on the bar, and say, "Drinks for everyone. Except HIM." You point an accusing finger at the clubowner. Then you head for the exit.

You feel good. You've learned a lot about jazz jam sessions tonight. You've also single-handedly defused an explosive situation, and done it with flair. As it turns out, you won't soon be forgotten, either. Looking back over your shoulder, you see Yuppies flocking to the stage to be part of this new cutting-edge art form. A middle-aged businessman has the mike, and is pointing to one of his associates near the back of the room. "Eat s%!*," he bellows artistically, to great laughter and applause. He passes the mike to a slender young woman, who points at a beefy young man near the bar. "Kiss my ASS," she warbles. The room goes ballistic. The line behind the microphone grows, filled out by Yuppies in search of self-expression. Meanwhile, the house band has snuck back into the picture. It is both accompanying and commenting upon the surreal proceedings with freely improvised blips, bleeps, squeaks, and farts.

Your final image, as the door swings shut behind you, is of a critic seated near the stage. He is furiously taking notes, euphoric to be present at the birth of next "New Thing." He will praise the "collective spontaneity" of the Yuppies, noting their "almost Ellingtonian integration of individual voices into a collective fabric." He will draw parallels between your creation and avant-garde work of the 1960s, describing it as "Ornette Coleman meets Laurie Anderson in a revisionist framework for the new millennium." He will note a "new dynamic redefining audience as performer and performer as audience." He will praise the "direct and powerful text elements." He will refer to you as a "drive-by genius," and an "unassuming sculptor of human interactive paradigm."

Your place in music history is assured.

(IH: Need a manager? Try the Musicians Union directory, under "Trombonists...")

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz Humor
Bill Anschell's Notes from the Lobby
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Bill Evans Bill Evans
piano
Dave Brubeck Dave Brubeck
piano
Chick Corea Chick Corea
piano
Charlie Haden Charlie Haden
bass, acoustic
McCoy Tyner McCoy Tyner
piano
Steve Kuhn Steve Kuhn
piano
Ray Brown Ray Brown
bass, acoustic
Branford Marsalis Branford Marsalis
saxophone
Clark Terry Clark Terry
trumpet
Woody Shaw Woody Shaw
trumpet
Fred Hersch Fred Hersch
piano
Jason Moran Jason Moran
piano

More Articles

Read Careers in Jazz Bill Anschell's Notes from the Lobby Careers in Jazz
by Bill Anschell
Published: June 17, 2012
Read Notes from the Lobby Bill Anschell's Notes from the Lobby Notes from the Lobby
by Bill Anschell
Published: April 30, 2006
Read Jazz Math Bill Anschell's Notes from the Lobby Jazz Math
by Bill Anschell
Published: November 19, 2004
Read "Steve Kuhn Trio at Dazzle" Live Reviews Steve Kuhn Trio at Dazzle
by Geoff Anderson
Published: April 13, 2016
Read "Pete La Roca: Basra - 1965" My Blue Note Obsession Pete La Roca: Basra - 1965
by Marc Davis
Published: June 2, 2016
Read "Jazz Popularity and You" What is Jazz? Jazz Popularity and You
by Douglas Groothuis
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "Steve Turre at SMOKE" New York @ Night Steve Turre at SMOKE
by Peter Jurew
Published: September 15, 2016
Read "Stan Getz: Stan Getz And The Oscar Peterson Trio" Getting Into Jazz Stan Getz: Stan Getz And The Oscar Peterson Trio
by Mark Barnett
Published: September 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!