Monday, June 1, 2015
7 Responses to Live the life first.
1. Greg Osby says: April 25, 2015 at 10:44 pm Here’s a comment sent to me from saxophonist David Binney
"Well, that tells it like it is. It’s right on, as anyone who does what we do knows. This gets complicated though when I really,honestly, think about it. We are doing that sort of travel for a couple weeks, maybe 3 on average. The rest of the time, at home, we don’t even have to worry abut waking up at a certain hour. So, I feel that when the show goes on, regardless of how we feel, we must deal. And we do. There’s a rare time that we don’t. And, in this discussion, on the surface I don’t have sympathy with the writer that is critiquing the show. But if the writer is supposed to be the voice for people in the audience, then I have to take that writers view on the show seriously. I mean, as the viewpoint of the person who doesn’t know or care what the circumstances are prior to the performance. Now, yes, I would love to have the writer travel with us and see how hard it is. It’s at times ridiculous. I just traveled 11 1/2 hours on the train yesterday right to a 2 set gig. But the report ultimately in my mind should be from, or I should say, “to” the viewpoint of the person who knows nothing of that struggle. That means the pressure is on us as musicians. And I guess I welcome that pressure. I worked day jobs in an office for 10 years. I know what that’s like. I sympathize with people who do that. But I’ll take the road to the gig over an office, any day. Now with all of that said, I agree with Greg. Writers should travel with us at some point and know what that is and what it takes to get up for a gig after that sort of travel. Ultimately the difference in the review should and would be small in wording but huge in scope. Just a couple of words added to a sentence that mentions how we traveled all day right to the gig to play for the people, and THEN say the we were “uninspired”. That would mean the world to us and maybe a little to the reader. It’s fine to criticize. As Greg said, the writer was right, but a word in there about the circumstance. Context. Just so the person who might not have liked it that one night, comes back one more time to give it another chance. Ultimately, I totally agree with Greg. The writer should travel with us first. I would just hate to have a writer do that and write a good review that’s colored by those travel circumstances. The review ultimately has to be about the music and for and from the office workers viewpoint tempered with a deep understanding of what it takes for musicians to do what they do under rough tour conditions."
2. Greg Osby says: April 25, 2015 at 10:49 pm Points taken, Dave. I also wouldn’t want to influence anyone into offering favorable reviews just because they earned their road “wings” from hanging on tour with musicians. I’m primarily vying for an overall enlightenment and awareness from those who regularly make it their point to enlighten without facts, details nor experience.
3. Joseph L. says: April 30, 2015 at 1:11 am It’s unfortunate that such critics/journalists clearly don’t take in consideration the “behind the scenes” circumstances. I was part of the tour as the bass player in Greg’s band. I was born in the US but I grew up in Italy; they call it “Il Bel Paese”, which means “the beautiful country”, sure beautiful, and there are many things that I love about it, but I felt in many circumstances that I had to mediate between two worlds, the “new world” and the “old world” mentality. Through the tour we had to deal with certain circumstances, working conditions that were, as already described, to say the very least, rough. Said so I will like to point out the fact that artists, individuals that by nature do much traveling, deal with many different mentalities and ways of doing things, and this develops a strong flexibility. In other words artists to me are generally very open minded individuals, but it doesn’t mean that they necessarily accept everything that is thrown at them. They simply deal with the circumstances and always, if true artists, try their best to perform a meaningful musical experience for the people in attendance. I think it is too easy for critics to sit back and criticize a concert without considering certain working conditions that might be in certain cases disruptive to the artist. YES, it will be a good thing if critics/journalists would be on the road with the musicians. They might be a little more cautious in their judgement. J
4. Seth Bohen says: May 5, 2015 at 11:25 am Hey Greg I agree with this, I feel that in order to give the best judgment a journalist should be on the road with the band; however in defense of the journalist they often have strenuous travels to get the story, they get into the situation and live it. Much like musicians I feel you have those who stay local and play minimal gigs where they are comfortable, but you also have those who travel the world, bringing music with little rest, because of their love for the music. You have journalist who simply stay in their area and write basic reviews, but you have those who travel the world getting the perfect situation for a story and meeting a deadline. Thats how they make a living and live their life that way. It is just as brutal at times as traveling for gigs. However I do agree that in order to best critique a band that journalist must be on the road and understand what the musicians are enduring. Awesome blog Greg, thank you.
5. Greg Osby says: May 8, 2015 at 5:57 pm At the very least, journalists would do better to engage in open dialog with musicians in order to ascertain what the artistic goals and aspirations are/were. It’s quite reckless to assume and guess what cats are “trying” to do. Just ask, and all will be revealed.
6. Greg Osby says: May 14, 2015 at 7:28 pm Other opinions:https://renaissancebros.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/the-nature-of-reviews/
7. Peter Wisely says: May 26, 2015 at 12:53 pm Hey Greg, I think seth has a valid point, but I also agree with the idea of open dialog with the musician. I feel that if the journalist gets involved on more of a first had account it is not only more affective for them but it helps generate a gripping story that the reader could get genuinely involved in. I’m going to check out the Other Opinions section now. Do you by chance have any teachings/lessons about jazz? I’ve recently started divulging my life with a lot of jazz and I would like to have a bit better understanding of it. Thank you ~Pete