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...")

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Events

Date Event Time
Sep7Thu Dmitri Matheny Group
Tula's
Seattle, WA
7:30 pm

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 "Nicole Johänntgen: Henry And The Free Bird" Interview Nicole Johänntgen: Henry And The Free Bird
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Jon Cleary at The Ardmore Music Hall" Live Reviews Jon Cleary at The Ardmore Music Hall
by Mike Jacobs
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "The Cookers at Nighttown" Live Reviews The Cookers at Nighttown
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Vossajazz 2017" Live Reviews Vossajazz 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 23, 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 "Carol Albert: Going for the Finish Line" In The Biz Carol Albert: Going for the Finish Line
by Kathy Sanborn
Published: September 11, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.