Ethics of the Jazz Jam Session…
I am contemplating writing about the ethics of running and participating in a jam session. I’ve been running one every week here in Boston for about 10 years and I’ve pretty much seen and heard it all. Here’s the first tip:
It’s considered kosher to not play (blow) on a tune if you don’t know the melody to that tune. If you walk into a session and the band is playing a tune, it’s not polite to just pull out your horn and get in line to start an epic solo (unless the leader asks you sit join in). Wait until the next tune. When I experience a cat coming up to solo after we’ve already played the melody, 7 times out of 10 the cat is playing by ear, “skating” over the chord changes. This is rarely done successfully. When I was coming up I made it a point not to blow on a tune if I wasn’t there to play the melody with the band when they started….