To Blog or not to Blog

(pic is me with lucky tour fire engine)

I was thinking about this whole blog thing. Part of the trip of being a jazz musician (at least for me) is that half the time I think “ the music I make is totally irrelevant to anybody and so who in the hell is going to be interested reading my blog” and then sometimes – like doing the recent Kidsamonium gig in Cheltenham – I think “I love this” and want to share it with the world.” When I see other musicians’ websites’ blogs (note the correct apostrophication!) and they write stuff like “tonight I went for a really nice meal” I sometimes think jesus they are so elf obsessed and vain ( actually i meant to type self obsessed but I wrote elf obsessed….elf obsessed would be much more interesting….) anyhow . I guess what I am saying is “I am vain and elf obsessed”.

Actually I have been fire engine and KFC obsessed but that is for another day. The thing is I am convinced that noone is ever going to read this…so why am I writing it…..

if  a tree falls on a scottish jazz musician writing a blog (that noone has ever read) in a forest then:

a) is he dead

b) is it due due to extremely unfortunate & pointless logging

c) is it due due to extremely unfortunate & pointless blogging

…..but anyway……Nowadays everyone has a blog and I bet no one reads most of them … I better get over it…..

At the end of the day I  respect and love jazz musicians ‘cos they get on and do the music they love and and they love the fact that some people out there really get it even if it may be only a small number, and they love improvisation and groove and swing, and if loads of people either don’t care or think it’s crap and pretentious- it doesn’t matter. It’s not important. So that’s the way I am going to approach doing this blog. Well we’ll see how it goes…

It was easy to get pissed off with jazz musicians when you are running a record label ( as I did  for 7 years) because they are so unrealistic and ambivalent. You can tell that part of them believes in their music so much that they think it should be on top of the pops and if it isn’t then the record company has screwed up, but on the other side they find it hard to really promote their music because being rejected by promoters is too depressing. I now think that we all need jazz musicians to be unrealistic because if they were actually realistic they would quit and there wouldn’t be all the great music around that there is.

Usually they are very bright dedicated people and could probably make a fortune in other careers but they have chosen a long and hard road without much option of wealth or security because they love doing something. The hard job is to be their record company where you have to try and be the link between a series of fantasy worlds and financial reality and deal with the frustration from either side.

Kidsamonium in Cheltenham was really mega. Byron Wallen was playing  trumpet instead of Claude Deppa and he had a beautiful sound and is a really interesting lovely guy. There were many great moments – Billy Jenkins does this thing in the show when he tries to fly round the room during a piece called “Being a Kid is Crazy Happy and Sad” and he looks really serious like he really wants to fly but he just can’t (all he has to help him fly is a plastic flying helmet) and he crashes into the walls and it is really sad but hilarious.

At one point, when Oren Marshall ( the big tuba kid) and Patrick Charbonnier (french trombonist) were doing this really quiet improvisation on trombone and tuba, this literally 9ft tall guy on stilts that noone was expecting walked in and played a loud note on a bugle thinking that we were on a break. It was very surreal and wonderful.

ANYHOW…. after the Kidsamonium show we got offered 4 more gigs at different festivals and the feedback from kids and parents was wonderful. My Dad came along with my half siblings Jack & Rosie and he was up dancing at the end in the ‘mum and dads dance to give the kids a laugh’ bit and apparently Jack was in stitches. it was a bummer cos I couldnt see him for the other mums and dads but I guess I might have found it hard to play.

BTW I used to be addicted to KFC but I haven’t eaten one since George Bush was re-elected. That picture was taken in october 2004!

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