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Jazz Math

Bill Anschell By

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If x is the number of chord changes in a tune, and y is the tempo at which it is played, then xy = factor by which a guitarist will turn down his amp.

# (notes/measure played by a saxophonist on a ballad) is proportional to # (drinks he has consumed).

4 + 4.125 + 4 + 3.875 + 4 + (4 + or—.667) + 4 + (x, where x is unknown) = 1 chorus trading with drummer.

(2 + 5 + 1) (# of freshman college jazz students, internationally) = annual income of Jamie Aebersold, in dollars.

Infinity = (3 + 6 + 2 + 5) + (3 + 6 + 2 + 5) + (3 + 6 + 2 + 5)

If (# of drinks consumed, per musician) > (# of drinks comped by club), then unrest will prevail unless (cost per drink) < 1/20 (pay for gig).

5/4 + 7/4 + 11/4 = drummer's gig

1 up-tempo tune +1 rushing drummer + x (double lattes) = x (fights among horn players to solo first)

1 ballad + 1 dragging drummer + x (Percocets) = 1 cleared house, where x is proportional to the speed at which the room empties

2 (diddles) = paradiddle

Jam session + eighth-note rest = missed opportunity.
Jam session + (quarter-note rest or greater) = band on break.

{(New + York) squared—(NewNew + Yorkyork + Yorknew) + New York + 2 (Ride + Sally)—Sally} divided by (less than five seconds) = medley from hell

(1/vocalist's experience in years) (# of beats per measure) x 32 = # of unintended modulations + skipped beats, per chorus.

If x = piano's deviance from being in tune, y = volume level of drummer, z = length of gig, and d = number of drinks consumed by pianist on break, then (d) (xyz/pay of the gig, in dollars), predicts the probability of pianist urinating in his instrument.

Vow of Poverty theorem: If # people in audience < # of musicians on bandstand, then pay per musician < one individual cover charge.

Bass theorem: A musician's IQ is inversely proportional to the size of his/her instrument, and directly related to the register of the instrument.

Rule of One theorem: Universe of jazz vocalists/# of jazz vocalists who sing "Summertime"= 1 = rank of "Summertime" among tunes most despised by instrumentalists

"Devil's Music" theorem: Smooth Jazz = square root of all evil.

"Two Americas" Buffet theorem: Fresh salmon/flaccid spanakopita + prime rib/limp eggrolls + jumbo shrimp/soggy chicken fingers = high society gig/Elks Club gig

How much should a gig pay, based on the following conditions: drive 90 miles outside of town through pouring rain; set up two hours in advance; load in through slimy kitchen,accessed by treacherous outdoor staircase; and play four hours of continuous crappy dance favorites for drunk rich people?

Would you take it for 1/2 that much?

(If yes): Desperation/pride > 1

After you bid on the above gig for 1/3 your worth, a college student offers to play the same gig for 1/2 as much. You are 12 times as good as him, but 1/2 as good-looking. The client has a tin ear.
Who will get the job? Why do you bother practicing?

If a trumpet player counts off a tune in 4/4 at mm = 180, and the drummer slows it down at a constant rate of deceleration over 8 measures to mm = 150, does the pianist still suck?

If a bassist plays a root, a pianist superimposes a major seventh chord built on the fifth, and a saxophonist plays the 13th, will attractive women notice? Will the drummer?

If a successful attorney earns 3x as much as a successful musician, but the musician believes his work is 4x as fulfilling, who actually has larger genitalia?

Your trio is set up in a perfect equilateral triangle. A singer sets up exactly in the middle. Will the three of you be divided against the singer, or against one another?

If (% of Americans who like jazz) < (% of Americans who like chainsaw sculptures), what is America's most important indigenous art form?

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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

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