Thursday 29 May 2008


In the jazzier genre, here's the Belmont Sr. Secondary Jazz Band "A"; what I really like about this clip is the infectious joy of the performance. The kids take a chance on taking a rollicking favourite, and making it their own, right down to the "Play that Funky Music" intro, it is their music, their sound played their way.

Which is the only way we can play it. I think it was Joe Walsh (of the Eagles) who said there was no sin in stealing licks from other players because you cannot recreate their sound. Even if we have the same gear strung in the same way, we won't have the same feel, we will have our own, it will be our music whether or not we consciously try to copy the past. John Cage proved as well how you cannot even copy your own performance; the wire-recordings of the most expert players do not line up.

This particular moment of play, it's yours, you own it, the moment already has your stamp on it; you might as well roll it out your own way. It may be a Mingus romp an Amparito Roca or a Star Spangled Banner or Steve Reich's 6 players: you are going to be yourself out there, so you can be all timid and standing self-conscious in someone's shadow, or you can go out there and boldly be who you are.

"If we're gonna die out there, Benny, let's die doin' our own stuff." (Gene Krupa)

Amazon: Charles Mingus