Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A jazz musician needs to have 'damage'

Young Patrick Breiner, son of these bloggers, has some strong opinions about making a career in jazz. The joke is, What do you call a jazz musician without a girlfriend? Homeless.

[My friend] Ben grew up in Riverdale, NY. It’s actually quite a nice neighborhood. But he spent his high school years having a hell of a lot of fun and taking advantage of the fact that New York City was just a subway ride away. He’s been mugged several times. Sucker-punched several times (once, ironically, in Osh-Kosh). And he’s spent the last 8 years or thereabouts living on the cheap in Brooklyn and booking cross-country tours with incredibly noisy bands that are definitely going to lose money. So there’s definitely some damage in this guy’s life.

A conversation with a local musician that really sticks out in my mind occurred between set breaks at one of the first Madison gigs I had gone to hear. I was unimpressed with this particular band. Not that I go to hear music with the intention of being impressed, but I couldn’t enjoy this band. It reminded me of a group I had led when I was in high school. It made sense that the band I fronted when I was 17 had no groove and read out of fakebooks. We were 17. But these guys seemed to consider themselves professionals.

You can read his thoughts on the subject at the blog Madison Jazz.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Jim:

    I found you through Cabot, who I connected with via Facebook. Congrats and good luck on the new adventure(s). - Jeff