[Trombone-l] No Bands

Charles De Paolo chuck at hickeys.com
Tue Nov 29 13:12:02 CST 2005

>> If the music matters to the people in charge, there is ALWAYS enough 
>> money somewhere to make it happen.

And if [live] music matters to the audience, the problem is solved.  The real issue at hand is getting those who buy the tickets to demand live music, and make noise when a recording is used instead.  The work action at Radio City Music Hall recently was big news around the country, and it had the effect of making those who heard the story consider their own position, even if for a nanosecond.  We need more issues like this to hit the news. People have to demand that they not be ripped off when a tape is used to supplant live musicians.


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: ALEX ILES 
  To: Bill Dinwiddie 
  Cc: List Trombone 
  Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2005 1:03 PM
  Subject: Re: [Trombone-l] No Bands

  Of course the number of live bands [on TV and on tour] has been 
  diminishing. Many pop acts [and shows, following in their footsteps] 
  are "self-contained" or used "canned" tracks, but here are few little 
  exceptions off the top of my head...

  I played Tony Bennett's show a year or so ago here in Southern 
  California with a full pick up orchestra [still a lot of those great 
  Zito charts in the book, by the way!]. True, he usually works with the 
  trio alone, but he frequently performs with an orchestra like this [or 
  as a guest with a full time symphony orchestra] occasionally. Sure, it 
  would be great if he did it more, but he still does get in front of a 
  big group once in a while.

  A friend of mine [and excellent bass trombonist, by the way] went to 
  Las Vegas to see Steve and Edie. He  grew up listening to them and is a 
  lifelong fan. He was a little torn because he figured the band would be 
  reduced or even pre-recorded. He bought tickets expecting the worst, 
  but he was instantly blown away as the curtain raised revealing a full 
  30-40 piece orchestra. "I was in HEAVEN!!", he told me.

  We are currently doing the show, "While Christmas" for a 7 week run and 
  there are 25 musicians in the pit. Great charts by Larry Blank and Pete 
  Meyers. They are running about 3 productions of this around the country 
  and expect to add a few more next year.

  If the music matters to the people in charge, there is ALWAYS enough 
  money somewhere to make it happen.

  As musicians interested in these matters, we need to remind/convince 
  those in charge that it matters. Easier said than done.

  On Nov 29, 2005, at 8:43 AM, Bill Dinwiddie wrote:

  > In the '70s and 80's I used to work for Tony Bennett pretty often. 
  > Tony's
  > conductor was usually Torrie Zito, and we always had an orchestra of 
  > 40 to
  > 50 players...a big band with "an acre" of strings. Torrie wrote some
  > wonderful charts for Tony and he also had charts in the book by Robert
  > Farnon. I will always remember those days, because the arrangements 
  > were so
  > great. The Farnon charts were just superb. I didn't even care if I 
  > played on
  > them, I was just transported by listening to the beauty of the whole 
  > thing,
  > and Tony was singing his a... off.
  > Today, Tony is still a famous singer and still works quite a bit, but 
  > he
  > hasn't used the orchestra in over 20 years. He performs with piano, 
  > bass and
  > drums, and though it is nicely done, it doesn't hold a candle to the 
  > old
  > days with those beautiful charts. I'm sure the change was not for 
  > musical
  > reasons, because Tony always enjoyed singing in front of those great 
  > charts,
  > played live by excellent players. That pretty much leaves monetary 
  > reasons.
  > I suppose he could not get the big bucks any more and so he was forced 
  > to
  > cut down the band. But he cut it all the way down to a trio.
  > My wife recently returned from a trip to Las Vegas with her Mom. She
  > reported that she did not see one musician there. She did not attend 
  > any of
  > the major shows, ala Celine Dione, where, I hope they are using a live 
  > band,
  > but she thought there might be some smaller bands in some of the 
  > lounges or
  > small rooms....nothing.
  > I glad I had the opportunity to play with large ensembles and great 
  > charts.
  > I feel badly for young players today who will probably not get that
  > opportunity.
  > Bill Dinwiddie
  > billdin at comcast.net
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