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--- Mar 24 1999 Go to category
Subject: Communication/Tune titles
Category: General Questions
From: Jazz Online (sf,ca)

I had the pleasure of catching your opening night concert at Lehigh University of Friday, 1/27/95. You and the PMG did a fantastic job of blending old and new music. I encourage anyone interested in jazz music to catch your concert if it comes to town.

My question to you is in regard to your use of online communications. Beyond keeping in touch with the other members of the band, how do you use this technology in your trade, musically and business?

By the way, you made reference last night to the groups difficulty in titles for pieces. As I listened to some of your solos, I kept thinking of the word, soliloquy..."a dramatic monologue that gives the illusion of being a series of unspoken reflections."

Pat’s Answer:

thanks for the good review of our opening night in lehigh! it was exciting (and a little bit scary) that night cause we played 6 or 7 new tunes for the first time. but you guys were a great crowd that really supported us and as much as i can remember (it already seems like a long time ago) we did all manage to start and stop at the same time, one of the most important things a group can offer while being onstage. that, being able to get on the bandstand by yourself, and wearing shoes are my only real "band rules".

as far as the online communication question goes, it has been very exciting over the past few years to be a participant in this whole thing. my first reasons for getting involved with this stuff was just as you said, it was a way to stay in touch with the office when we were on the road and to communicate with the band. last year i got computer systems for my mom and dad and my brother mike, and now we all stay in touch that way too.

but what i've really been enjoying is stuff like this, the opportunity to reach you guys who might be interested in my music in a different way, and especially reading the various jazz bb's that exist on the different services and the way these new "special interest communities" are growing. to me, one of the most interesting things i'm seeing is that "music critics" have been effectively (once and for all, i might add) eliminated from their already marginal pulpits. i mean, who needs 'em anymore when you can get 20 or 30 INSTANT opinions from fellow listeners who probably know more than some self appointed bozo, and then you can see a consensus pop up in front of your very of the most fascinating things as a jazz fan i've ever followed has been the often very interesting and stimulating exchanges between often very knowledgeable fans on usenet groups such as or the prodigy jazz bb or the compuserve jazz forum to name a few. (sometimes i lurk.) the level of informed discussion about who's playing what with who etc. pretty much wipes out the most of the jazz mags, and if someone does try to float some specious theory about someone there are ALWAYS a bunch of people waiting to offer a usually more informed alternate theory to set them straight. this kind of dialog is really stimulating, and in the case of jazz music reminds me ALOT of the music itself. call and response. it provides a cultural resonance that reading some pompous idiot spewing forth with no more of a threat than some guy rebutting him on a "letters to the editor" page a month later will ever, ever have. plus, we live in an era where even major papers like the new york times and the chicago tribune have no one who has any serious critical knowledge of jazz or insight into music in general as their "jazz" writers. (i'm talking about the peter watrous's and howard reich's of the world here) for those people who are interested in learning about this music, the discussions that have been going on "on-line" pretty much wipe everything else i've seen, mainly through the incredibly varied points of view that an interested reader can experience.

the only down side of this stuff for me personally is the way it is changing some privacy issues. i mean, EVERYTHING you say or do or play can be "reported" on to an international audience within seconds. for example, the other night i was walking around in the village here in nyc and a friend of mine, billy bang, who is a violinist comes running out of this tiny little club and we start to rap a little. i decide to go in and hear a tune and then i sit in for a tune or two. no big deal. so i come home and look on the internet and there's some snotty guy with a REVIEW of it! i mean it was just some impromptu playing on some other guys gig and i'm getting all analyzed and stuff! the guy was trying to get all technical in his description of the way we all played and everything. (plus, he was completely full of shit, which is i guess what REALLY pissed me off, truth be told)- i mean, it can kind of make you pause for a second before you just be yourself, which is kind of a drag. for someone who was a little on the paranoid side it could really get them into a kind of "big brother is watching" rap thing. also, it can happen that sometimes you're just talking to people after a show or on the street or something and without knowing it, what you said casually to what you thought was just one person is "quoted" for everyone everywhere to see, maybe accurately, maybe not. and there's no recourse. there's no editor to write to. and there's no way really for someone who's reading it to know if it's true or not. i'm not really complaining here, just noting that it's different now. it takes some getting used to.