8 March 2013


What a performance!

It would be hard to find a better example than this video of a leader carefully setting the right tempo, driving the band along, directing the musical traffic and making very clear what is wanted from everyone, while working up some great excitement in the music.

The leader is the cornet player Shaye Cohn and the tune is Fats Waller's Minor Drag. Click on the link below and hold on to your hats. Note all the subtle signals Shaye gives by means of eye contact, body language, quick words to John Doyle (clarinet) and Barnabus (trombone), a hand signal to Robin (washboard), the notes she holds at the ends of choruses - even left hand on the head to signal a return to Theme A!
Click here to watch.

Incidentally, as I have said elsewhere, why on earth don't more bands follow Tuba Skinny's example in seating arrangements? Having the band in an arc formation means the audience can see all the musicians and - for signalling purposes - the musicians can all see each other.

In other videos, you can even see Shaye 'conducting' the band by extending a bare foot! She does so near the end to indicate that this is to be the final chorus. For example: CLICK HERE. And for another example of Shaye showing great energy, drive and imagination, both in her own playing and in the direction of the band, look at this wonderful performance of Weary BluesCLICK HERE.