Monday, May 23, 2005

A Rude Solo

Here's a cute story from a back-issue of the Local 802 News.
Herb Winner passed along a story he heard about a quartet in a New Jersey jazz club led by bassist Vinnie Burke. A noisy foursome at a front table was getting Vinnie's dander up. Jazz bassists are used to suffering with conversations during their solos, which are usually quieter than the rest of the music, thus providing people who have something to say with an opportunity to make themselves heard. Even other members of the band will choose the bass solo as the best time to strike up a conversation. But this group at the front table on Vinnie's gig was so loud that he couldn't hear anybody's solos. One woman had a voice that could have challenged a heavy-metal rock group.

In desperation, the quartet went into an up-tempo blues. And, instead of trading fours with the drummer, Vinnie had them all trade fours with the loud- talking woman. Each musician played four bars and then counted another four during which she continued to loudly hold forth, never noticing that the band was putting her on.