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RE: Using Jazz Standards to Get Into a Venue for Looping
Funny, a festival booking coordinator said that exact same thing to me
this summer ("looking for something with more energy" but my music was
nonetheless beautiful). I think you're right Travis. Another thing is
that venue owners seem to think that a musician's CD somehow defines
everything he can do as a performer, which is total BS. Maybe for
Brittney Spears, but not us loopers. I play stuff with "energy"
frequently when I'm out and about, but it isn't on my CD.
I think I'll just create a special demo CD to get me gigs, then I'll
play what I damn well please once I arrive. Call it artistic license.
175? Nahhh...I've got a Paul Reed Smith McCarty Archtop that plays like
a dream with out the feedback. :)
I'll try a little bit of everything suggested hear...some playing over
pre-recorded sequences, some looping of the standard changes, some of my
far out original material, etc. The cool thing with looping is that I
can just burn the final loop on CD, so they don't have to hear me take 3
minutes to build a feakin' song in real time.
I may burn a few tracks this week and send some out to the group for
review....you all can help me get my jazz chops back.
From: Travis Hartnett [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Sunday, September 19, 2004 8:14 PM
Subject: Re: Using Jazz Standards to Get Into a Venue for Looping
As a solo looping acoustic guitarist, I've found that places with the
words "grill", "bar" or "tavern" don't seem interested in what I do,
whereas anywhere with "cafe", "coffee" or "tea" is interested. The
feedback I've gotten from the booking agents at the former is that they
like my stuff, but they're looking for something with more "energy".
What it seems to boil down to is you can not have drums or not have
vocals, but not both. I don't advertise my stuff as featuring looping,
even though all of my pieces are built on echoplex loops, so as far as
they're concerned, I'm a "contemporary acoustic guitar insrumentalist".
For some places, the looping is an attractive bonus, but by and large
the subject doesn't come up.
If you're looking for jazz gigs, I'd definitely recommend pulling out
the 175 and lay down a backing track and bass line for whatever standard
you're doing on the EDP and then play solos on top of it. I wouldn't
bother explaining the concept to the agent--just tell them you're doing
a Jim Hall/George Van Eps thing with standards, and see if they know
enough to ask you how you're pulling it off. I suspect they won't, and
when they find out, they won't care.
I'd think that all the jazz-style bar/restaurant/hotel gigs would dig
that. Dealing with one musician rather than a group is preferable for
most booking agents. And you get to keep all the money.
>Are any of you playing loop music that is on the abstract side and
>finding it difficult to get satisfying gigs, especially at popular pubs
>and restaurants? What type of venues to you play at? Art galleries?
>Coffee shops? Mostly festivals? Coffee shops are starting to get old