• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Topic: OT: The Jazz Jam Session Primer - A First-Timer’s Guide

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    OT: The Jazz Jam Session Primer - A First-Timer’s Guide

    While doing some internet research on jazz today, I ran across the "The Jazz Jam Session Primer - A First-Timer’s Guide".

    Really funny stuff...the whole thing can be found here=>
    http://www.allowe.com/Humor/book/The...n%20Primer.htm

    An excerpt follows. Enjoy!

    =============start clip=======
    IH: Sit as close to the band as possible. Stare intensely at each musician during his solo and move your mouth along with his lines. Never smile. Each musician will assume that: a) you play his instrument, and b) you think he sucks. You are “vibing” them and they’ll come undone. All jazz players, regardless of age, instrument, or ability, are deeply insecure. Have fun with this.


    The Musicians

    While a jazz artist may claim to have a “unique voice” on his instrument, sociological analysis tells us otherwise. In reality, jazz players are simply the embodiment of instrumental archetypes. Jam sessions, then, are the playing-out of archetypal conflicts. Jazz “standards” performed at the sessions make up the script. Over time, an epic play is realized. Here are the characters:

    Piano: Pianists are intellectuals and know-it-alls. They studied theory, harmony and composition in college. Most are riddled with self-doubt. They are usually bald. They should have big hands, but often don’t. They were social rejects as adolescents. They go home after the gig and play with toy soldiers. Pianists have a special love/hate relationship with singers. If you talk to the piano player during a break, he will condescend.

    Bass: Bassists are not terribly smart. The best bassists come to terms with their limitations by playing simple lines and rarely soloing. During the better musical moments, a bassist will pull his strings hard and grunt like an animal. Bass players are built big, with paws for hands, and they are always bent over awkwardly. If you talk to the bassist during a break, you won’t be able to tell whether or not he’s listening.

    Drums: Drummers are radical. Specific personalities vary, but are always extreme. A drummer might be the funniest person in the world, or the most psychotic, or the smelliest. Drummers are uneasy because of the many jokes about them, most of which stem from the fact that they aren’t really musicians. Pianists are particularly successful at making drummers feel bad. Most drummers are highly excitable; when excited, they play louder. If you decide to talk to the drummer during a break, be careful not to sneak up on him.

    Saxophone: Saxophonists think they are the most important players on stage. Consequently, they are temperamental and territorial. They know all the Coltrane and Bird licks but have their own sound, a mixture of Coltrane and Bird. They take exceptionally long solos, which reach a peak halfway through and then just don’t stop. They practice quietly but audibly while other people play. They are obsessed. Saxophonists sleep with their instruments, forget to shower, and are mangy. If you talk to a saxophonist during a break, you will hear a lot of excuses about reeds.

    Trumpet: Trumpet players are image conscious and walk with a swagger. They are often former college linebackers. Trumpet players are very attractive to women, despite the strange indentation on their lips. Many of them sing; misguided critics then compare them to either Louis Armstrong or Chet Baker depending whether they’re black or white. IH: Arrive at the session early, and you may get to witness the special trumpet warm-up game. The rules are: play loud and high. The winner is he who plays loudest and highest. Caution: It is loud and high. If you talk to a trumpet player during a break, he might confess that his favorite player is Maynard Ferguson, the merciless God of loud-and-high trumpeting.

    Guitar: Jazz guitarists are never very happy. Deep inside they wanted to be rock stars, but now they’re old and overweight. In protest, they wear their hair long, prowl for groupies, drink a lot, and play too loud. Guitarists hate piano players because they can hit ten notes at once, but guitarists make up for it by playing as fast as they can. The more a guitarist drinks, the higher he turns his amp. Then the drummer starts to play harder, and the trumpeter dips into his loud/high arsenal. Suddenly, the saxophonist’s universe crumbles, because he is no longer the most important player on stage. He packs up his horn, nicks his best reed in haste, and storms out of the room. The pianist struggles to suppress a laugh. If you talk to a guitarist during the break he’ll ask intimate questions about your 14-year-old sister.

    Vocals: Vocalists are whimsical creations of the all-powerful jazz gods. They are placed in sessions to test musicians’ capacity for suffering. They are not of the jazz world, but enter it surreptitiously. Example: A young woman, playing minor roles in college musicals, is described by a misguided campus newspaper critic as “...jazzy.” Voila! A star is born! Quickly she learns “My Funny Valentine,” “Summertime,” and “Route 66.” Her training complete, she embarks on a campaign of session terrorism. When she approaches the bandstand musicians flee. Those who must remain feel the full fury of the jazz universe (see “The Vocalist” below). IH: The vocalist will try to seduce you – and the rest of the audience – by making eye contact, acknowledging your presence, even talking to you between tunes. Do not fall into this trap! Look away, your distaste obvious. Otherwise, musicians will avoid you during breaks.If you talk to a vocalist during a break, she will introduce you to others as her “manager.”

    Trombone: The trombone is known for its pleading, voice-like quality. “Hey!” it seems to say, “Why won’t anybody hire me?” Trombonists like to play fast, because their notes become indistinguishable and thus immune to criticism. Most trombonists played trumpet in their early years, then decided they didn’t want a strange indentation on their lips. Now they hate trumpet players, who somehow get all the women despite this disfigurement. Trombonists are usually tall and lean, with forlorn faces. They don’t eat much. They have to be very friendly, because nobody really needs a trombonist. Talk to a trombonist during a break and he’ll ask you for a gig or try to sell you insurance or Amway.

    =========end clip===========

    Jim Jarnagin - no not THAT Jim Jarnagin, the other one.

  2. #2
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Orcas Island
    Posts
    11,454

    Re: OT: The Jazz Jam Session Primer - A First-Timers Guide

    This is too funny

  3. #3

    Re: OT: The Jazz Jam Session Primer - A First-Timers Guide

    This is too true.
    Richard N.

    Finale 2003 to 2007 ~ Garritan GPO, JABB & Strad ~ Sonar 6PE ~ Kontakt 2 ~ WinXP Home SP2

    Athlon XP 2200 ~ 1.5 Gb RAM ~ M-Audio Sound Card ~ M-Audio 88ES MIDI keyboard ~ Evolution MK-461C

    Bach Strad LT16MG, LT36G, 42B + B&H Sovereign Studio Tenor Trombones ~ Holton 181 Bass Trombone ~ Getzen Bass Trumpet ~ Yamaha TR4335G Trumpet ~ B&H Euphonium

  4. #4

    Re: OT: The Jazz Jam Session Primer - A First-Timers Guide

    I'll be playing a party with friends this weekend. We'll be doing blues/rock rather than jazz, but still... I've solved the personality problem thing by splitting my time between keyboard and bass. That makes me a stupid intellectual. I've solved the drummer problem by programming the parts and locking him inside the computer!

    The two other guys play guitar. One of them is a vocalist. I hope I'm not his manager!

    -JF

  5. #5
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    West Seneca, NY
    Posts
    11,075

    Talking Re: OT: The Jazz Jam Session Primer - A First-Timers Guide

    A piano is a percussion instrument!

    Too funny!
    Styxx

  6. #6

    Re: OT: The Jazz Jam Session Primer - A First-Timers Guide

    This reminds me of the movie Spinal Tap (which co-incided with my rock and roll days).After you have finished laughing you feel strangely depressed.
    regards

  7. #7
    Senior Member M.A.S>'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Somewhere under my hat.
    Posts
    202

    Re: OT: The Jazz Jam Session Primer - A First-Timers Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Styxx
    A piano is a percussion instrument!

    Too funny!
    So's a trombone if you sit too close in front of 'em.


    Michael

  8. #8

    Re: OT: The Jazz Jam Session Primer - A First-Timers Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by M.A.S>
    So's a trombone if you sit too close in front of 'em.


    Michael

    or beat it with a stick

  9. #9
    Senior Member M.A.S>'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Somewhere under my hat.
    Posts
    202

    Re: OT: The Jazz Jam Session Primer - A First-Timers Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hoffman
    or beat it with a stick
    I save the stick for out of tune sax players.

    There's a special circle of hell for trumpeters who play too many loud high notes.

    You don't wanna know what happpens to bass players.

    Michael

  10. #10

    Re: OT: The Jazz Jam Session Primer - A First-Timers Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by M.A.S>
    I save the stick for out of tune sax players.

    There's a special circle of hell for trumpeters who play too many loud high notes.

    You don't wanna know what happpens to bass players.

    Michael
    Bass Players. Hell is too good for them.
    regards

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •