BoMuse News, vol. 19, no. 11
BoMuse News is a monthly newsletter from BoMuse Music. It presents items of interest related to jazz, and advocacy for music education, as well as news of releases from BoMuse Music and the performing activities of Paul Combs.
1. Well, it looks like it will be next summer before we can perform for live audiences. I am continuing to try to work something out with one of the venues where I play with some regularity to start a streaming series. Unfortunately, the owners have their hands full with more urgent matters, with which I am sympathetic, so I just have to wait my turn. Meanwhile, the role of technology in various forms has become increasingly important in the lives of performing artists. The COVID crisis has accelerated this, for sure, but the trend was already underway. From the digital download eclipsing CDs, to the streaming of performances, there is no getting away from the need for technological competency for something approaching survival for us musicians. Even for someone like me, with a modest background in audio engineering, this extra work load is not particularly welcome, but it has to be accepted.
2. Since my Summit CD, Unknown Dameron, has turned out to be one of those “critically acclaimed, but commercially unsuccessful” recordings (and I take some comfort in being in good company in this regard), I am exploring strategies for future releases that will be less expensive to produce, but will still keep me in the game. Right now I have three, perhaps more, projects in mind, and we will see how successful I will be in getting them completed. As Duke Ellington said of quitting music, “Retire to what?” Right now I am working on a some promotional projects for casual work as a way to get better at producing my own recordings and videos. I don’t want to jinx anything, so I’ll save the details until I have something to show for my efforts.
3. November is Thanksgiving month. In spite of the artistic challenges, I have so much to be thankful for. The love of family and friends, good health, a good home, and the gift of music. This summer my family grew by one when my son married his long time friend and roommate. So far, all of my close friends have stayed healthy and secure, as have I. Finally, although our nation will continue to struggle with strong, and in my opinion unnecessary political divisions, we are anticipating a reduction of vituperative speech, at least from the highest office in our republic. I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!
4. I am still sorting out some publishing details, so I cannot post the nice video of the Pocket Big Band just yet. I have just finished recording video and sound for the first of a small series of demos for casual work. This may also yield a “COVID Concert” of five tunes. In these I am playing with backing tracks. I must admit I have an aversion to this sort of ‘karaoke’ performance, but whether I like it or not, it has become generally accepted. I have even done one so far, when offered less money than I thought appropriate for a duo. The tracks feature real musicians playing real instruments. Synthesizer tracks are a bridge too far for me! I will be interested to see the response, if any, when I post the concert version.
In the meantime, may I recommend the videos posted by the Jazz Video Guy, Bret Primack, as well as any of the other available videos of excellent musicians. I have been enjoying the ones featuring the late Johnny Griffin lately, and the ever smiling Gene Harris, as well. And don’t forget to look up the folks who are still with us, especially the many young players and singers who are establishing themselves – you can find some here at ElectricLouieLand – and of course all those marvelous mid-career musicians we are blessed to have among us.
There is one more video that I would like to suggest. It features Daniel Jackson, a very important San Diego musician who passed before I got here, but whose influence is still felt throughout the San Diego Jazz Community. Jackson is joined by other influential San Diego musicians, trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos, bassist Marshall Hawkins, and percussionists Charlie Chavez and Gene Perry. Readers in San Diego will know these superb musicians, but others from out of town may not. The video was posted by Chuck Perrin who supports all of us local jazz musicians to finding places for us to perform under the banner of Dizzy’s. Chuck’s efforts are another thing to be thankful for.
While I am advised to lay low until we get the “all clear,” there maybe some safe outdoor venues where you can enjoy some live music, depending on where you live, and some venues are managing to live stream responsibly produced shows.
And don’t forget to support your favorite Jazz Radio stations and Internet presenters.
Hang in there, ware your mask, and we will hope to be out playing again by next summer.
As always, thank you for supporting LIVE MUSIC (as well as its temporary substitutes)!