Bill Anschell's Notes from the Lobby

Bill Anschell periodically self-publishes purely self-indulgent vignettes based on his life in the jazz world. These stories are essential reading for any aspiring musician who might unwittingly enter the field without a sense of humor or a passion for the bizarre.

46

The Weakened Worriers

Read "The Weakened Worriers" reviewed by Bill Anschell


Inspired by actual events. John awoke feeling unsettled. He'd had a troubled sleep, which usually meant he'd gone to bed upset. So he turned his thoughts to last night's gig--one of the musicians must have said something to him afterward. No, wait! None of them said anything to him, that was it! Nobody said, “Sounded great, man," or anything else nice like that, even though he'd made a point of saying it to each of them.

1,769

Jazz Jam Sessions: A First-Timer's Guide

Read "Jazz Jam Sessions:  A First-Timer's Guide" reviewed by Bill Anschell


Ready to check out your first jam session? There's much more to jazz music--and to the “session" in particular--than meets the eye. This primer will help you better appreciate the intense psychodrama being played out on stage. Special “Insider's Hints" ("IH“) highlighted throughout the text will help you make the most of your maiden voyage. IH: Although your food and drink dollars are the lifeblood of the jazz economy, remember that to the musicians, you're irrelevant. Don't make ...

1,482

Careers in Jazz

Read "Careers in Jazz" reviewed by Bill Anschell


Every year, university programs spit out thousands of highly trained jazz musicians sporting hard-earned diplomas and high hopes. But when these graduates hit the first formal rite of jazz passage--a desperate trip to the local pawn shop--they learn that the diploma is literally not worth the paper it's printed on. Entering school, their dream was simple: To perform music they love for attentive audiences in jazz clubs, concert halls, and festivals, and to earn a fair wage for their efforts1. ...

460

Notes from the Lobby

Read "Notes from the Lobby" reviewed by Bill Anschell


The light is unsettling; too bright, by far, for the dark business at hand. My fingers work tirelessly. Visible beneath them, a workspace painful to the glance; brilliant, aching white. Should I look away, bury my gaze instead in the teeming masses before me? They transact ceaselessly, without apology. Harshly lit, the greedy faces are easily identified, yet there is mystery about them. Shouldn't it be nighttime? Shouldn't we be in a darkened restaurant, or a seamy, ill-lit ...

415

Jazz Math

Read "Jazz Math" reviewed by Bill Anschell


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 ...


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