25 November 2014


Is playing traditional jazz hard work?
It depends what you mean by 'hard work'. Sometimes it doesn't feel like work at all. If you have a really good gig, where everything gels and both the band and the audience have a great time, you end up on a high.

But there IS a lot of hard work, both at the gigs and before them. The work involves mastering and storing a lot of music and related information inside your head and also keeping the relevant muscles in shape (fingers, lips, whatever). This becomes increasingly difficult as we age. Obviously a lot of practice is important.

Haven't you noticed too that you can feel very tired after a long gig? That's when you know hard work has been involved.
Peter Jenns
And don't you find that long gigs leave you feeling very hungry? They drain your resources. My old tuba-playing buddy Peter Jenns (who died in August 2006) always used to say he was starving after a gig and, no matter how late he arrived home, he always had a couple of toasted peanut-butter sandwiches before he went to bed!