Archive for scream

If you Hear Something, Say Something

Posted in Jazz Ethics, Performance, Stories in Music with tags , , , , , , , on December 1, 2009 by pogo56

I’m sure many of you that read this blog are familiar with the Miles album My Funny Valentine Plus Four and More, the live one at Lincoln Center. On the track Stella by Starlight, during the top of one of Miles’ solo choruses he plays and F# on the E half-diminished chord and there’s a person in the crowd that screams yeah. Now I don’t about you, but to me that was a feel-good moment. That record was one of the first Miles records that I owned (thanks BMG, R.I.P.) when I was in high school. At the time I didn’t think that it was okay to voice sounds of approval at intimate concerts like this one. This one person made it okay to feel like it was okay. I remember rewinding that one particular moment and wondering what it was that Miles played which cause this person to call out. I just think that that note really resonated with him, causing him to speak uncontrollably. So my question is how many of us have experienced this? How many of us have experienced this but have held back in fear of disturbing the experience for others? Let me be the first to say that it’s not cool to ruin another audience members listening experience, but I think that it’s okay to aver a sound of joy to a performer if you hear something that touches you right at that moment.

If you know me as a concertgoer, you know that I can become quite vocal when I hear something that touches me. Throughout my years of doing this I don’t ever remember receiving any snide looks from anyone, so I think that it’s okay. I consider it to be a transfer of energy from the audience to the band. Bands, especially today, really need this. For me as a performer it’s a good feeling to hear these sounds every once in a while and I gain more inspiration to play my best at all times when I experience this. I don’t think that it’s an ego-stroke per se, but more of a subtle approval from someone that you are well on your way towards “speaking” in this music, as opposed to only playing the changes, etc.

So my plea to all of you is to speak up if you hear something that you like from a performer in real time. You don’t have to wait until their solo is over to do so. They’re probably going to take 30 more choruses after that special moment anyway, lol!!

Swing it out!

J.P.

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