Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

10

June 2014

June 2014
Mr. P.C. By

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

I knew a singer once who couldn't read a note of music. But when she got lost she'd go over to the pianist and start pointing at his music as if he was lost and she was helping him. She even did it on TV once so everyone watching thought it was his fault. My question is for him, I'm wondering what he was supposed to do.

—Singer's Tyranny Oppresses Pianist


Dear STOP:

Simple: He should have grabbed a pencil, circled the notes she was pointing to, and handed the music to the bassist. This visibly deflects the blame to a more dispensable band member, while still bowing to the will of the singer—a spirited woman fighting the jazz world's clubby chauvinism.

A smart singer—and this one sounds like no dummy—will take the cue and direct all future finger-pointing at the bassist, bypassing the middleman. Partnering with the pianist isn't just a matter of convenience—in the long run, it could transform her shaky dictatorship into a durable coalition government.

Of course, like every enduring government, its stability will come at the expense of an oppressed lower class. Who better to fill out the bottom than the poor, hapless bassist?

Dear Mr. P.C.:

Is it okay to hate other people's playing as long as you hate your own playing too?

—Equal Opportunity Hater


Dear EOH:

Is it okay to hate pesticides as long as you hate chemical fertilizers? Is it okay to hate farmed fish as long as you hate foia gras? These questions really answer themselves, don't they?

But when the day comes that you stop fully hating your own playing, you'll have to stop hating other people's playing as well, by the exact same proportion. Unfortunately, all you'll really be doing is lowering your standards.

Dear Mr. P.C.:

What are the ethics of doing multiple takes of solos in the studio? What if it means breaking solos down to one line at a time, practicing a lick, playing it, maybe even having the engineer auto-tune some notes or paste notes from one take to another, then moving on to the next phrase and doing the same thing? I've seen guys build entire solos that way, and it sure doesn't have much to do with how they play live, does it? I want my CDs to sound like my gigs!

—Retakes Are Mistakes


Dear RAM:

I'm sure you mean well, but your "live in the studio" approach not only shortchanges the music, it totally disrespects the engineer. Think about it: What is he supposed to do while you and your one-take brethren play your too-good-to-edit lines? Stream video of the big game? Play Solitaire on his computer? Post inside jokes on Pro Tools forums?

I've seen plenty of engineers forced to resort to trivial distractions like these in the middle of "authentic" jazz sessions like yours. Does their self-respect mean nothing to you?
Have a question for Mr. P.C.? Ask him.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Practice Makes Imperfect, The Pursuit of Nothingness, Challenging the Originalists Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Practice Makes Imperfect, The Pursuit of Nothingness,...
by Mr. P.C.
Published: October 26, 2017
Read Bits and PCs, The Cosmic Loop, Fake Gigs Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Bits and PCs, The Cosmic Loop, Fake Gigs
by Mr. P.C.
Published: August 9, 2017
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 "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 "Bits and PCs, The Cosmic Loop, Fake Gigs" Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Bits and PCs, The Cosmic Loop, Fake Gigs
by Mr. P.C.
Published: August 9, 2017
Read "Practice Makes Imperfect, The Pursuit of Nothingness, Challenging the Originalists" Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Practice Makes Imperfect, The Pursuit of Nothingness,...
by Mr. P.C.
Published: October 26, 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 "Another Timbre Celebrates Its First Decade" Multiple Reviews Another Timbre Celebrates Its First Decade
by John Eyles
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "Montreal International Jazz Festival 2017" In Pictures Montreal International Jazz Festival 2017
by Dave Kaufman
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…" Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Mark Sullivan's Best Releases of 2017" Best of / Year End Mark Sullivan's Best Releases of 2017
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Festival Trieste Loves Jazz 2017" In Pictures Festival Trieste Loves Jazz 2017
by Joze Pozrl
Published: August 13, 2017
Read "How the Other Half Swings" Genius Guide to Jazz How the Other Half Swings
by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius
Published: July 6, 2017

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!