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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    I just came to the point that I probably live in a world on my own.. in the past I tried to be curious/tolerant about people and their opinions and so on... now I do not care. If idiots are idionts it is their life. But in modern world everyone has the right to be an idiot, but no-one can tell him about it .. so some people I know seem to begin to think I am almost a fascist... so I have to keep the mouth shut.

    but in general it is what I fell like...
    even if there are only 8-10 people in that world of mine - it is big enough and I do not care what other millions do (unless they start shooting at me or my family)...

    I have a friend - probably greatest living composer now - he is older than me, about 50 now (a family man, quite active socially, not just meditating artistic hermit) - in my opinion he does unique things, he is being performed of course, not totally neglected... but in comparison to what it deserves it is nothing...

    He lives in another city but we communicate all the time... he says that last year he is mostly in two conditions: suddenly and briefly excited (mostly it is about experiencing music - not all, or arts), and the rest of the time almost asleep (physically because he is terribly tired mostly)...

    It seems I amd getting close to this condition gradually too...

    But it's another topic maybe)
    That's sad to hear. I would say if it's one thing I've noticed about the Russian people I have met and worked for it's a deep reverence for Art and music. While I don't pretend to understand the complexities of contemporary Russia (I've never visited even), I do get that impression that has changed.

    Anyway, I feel the UK has always had a bit of philistine attitude to instrumental music, so I'm used to it...

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  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    I also thought maybe it depends on the player's (his manager's) strategy too... and how he can coordicate his ambition for gigs and the market demand.

    Bobby Broom and his group are very subtle and sophisticated players but at the same time they have quite conventional format.. they can have bigger audience and probably are eager to have it, an dprobably try to look in the places they think appropriate for that.

    I am subscribed on FB to some guitarists' pages (like Frisell, Lage, Lund, Sco etc) and I get notifications.

    For example Bill Frisell tours very intensively... I believe in the scope of the whole world his potential audience is much smaller than that of Broom...

    But at the same time in some college campus - who knows? - it is possible that Bill would attract more people.

    If you look at the venues where he plays it is very often very modest chamber-style places in remote parts of the States - it is really for quiete contemplative audience, not for a cocktail club soft jazz dancing.

    I believe that Bill does not earn huge money with that but still he is on the road all the time in contact with live performance and live audience (which he obviously enjoys)

    What I am trying to say is that probably correct management of your ampitions is also very important, especially in this ever changing world.
    It's really best to have no expectations.

    However, when you hear of people you think should be doing well not doing well, it's sobering. Audiences and tastes change, of course, but there's just less money now.

    Cultivating a direct relationship with the audience is the easiest way to cut out the middle men and take control of your career. It does require a widening of one's skill set...

    Bobby says that according to billboard and statistics from streamimg there are quite a lot of people who like and listen to this music, maybe the good move for a good manager is to find out who are these people and where they live and go to listen to music.
    Absolutely

    Good managers are worth their weight in HP ink (had to buy new cartridges the other day)

    A lot of people are stuck in the old model.

    You Tube is huge of course, as well... Only problem with You Tube is you can't reliably monetise it if you are a musician (due to copyright strikes, YT shifting the goalposts and so on). Patreon offers an alternative source of income, but it's not truly passive as you then you owe people a regular stream of content.

    I am not sure of course... but maybe it is time also to break a barrier too... maybe people who wants to listen to him just go to different places?
    Maybe today it's the same people who listen to Bill Frisell with Petra Haden?
    Well I played my dad some recent Frisell and he thought it very middle of the road.

    Which it kind of is. I prefer him as a sideman in some ways. But I think Bill just likes playing songs he likes.

    That said, I'd sign up to hear Bill play the collected ouvre of Ed Sheeran... I'm not sure who goes to his gigs. I do know he's one of the few 'jazz guitarists' I could play to anybody.

  4. #53

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    Well I played my dad some recent Frisell and he thought it very middle of the road.

    Which it kind of is. I prefer him as a sideman in some ways. But I think Bill just likes playing songs he likes.

    That said, I'd sign up to hear Bill play the collected ouvre of Ed Sheeran... I'm not sure who goes to his gigs. I do know he's one of the few 'jazz guitarists' I could play to anybody
    It's very interesting... because I really prefer Bill when he is alone or a leader in a very small set like a duo for example.
    Sometimes I have feeling from him- that he takes a too much pop-stuff and - if it is appropriate to say so - overloads it with meaning in performance and concentration as if it is Bach or Mozart (but it is not even if you play it in the most meditative way ever). It reminds me American realism in painting.. it has the mood and it captures but then I feel like that is it, only the mood.
    But Bill is very authentic and unpretenciosu in doing this of course.
    And in generalI learnt a lot from him in concern of guitar playing.

    But anyway I just gave Bill here as an example... of something very different, opposite to Bobby - potentially not much in demand - but at the same time intensively touring almost non-stop.

  5. #54

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    That's sad to hear. I would say if it's one thing I've noticed about the Russian people I have met and worked for it's a deep reverence for Art and music. While I don't pretend to understand the complexities of contemporary Russia (I've never visited even), I do get that impression that has changed.
    Yes, it changed definitely during last 20 years... besides I grew up and lived in St. Petersburg without going much into the country (and without much wish to go, even to Moscow)... and St.Petersburg is not really Russia frankly speaking.

    But it's not the point even...
    I think today 'urban people' become more or less a special nation in most of the world. People coming and working in big metropolis like London, St.Petersburg, Paris, Moscow, Madrid.. they share more common features with each other than with their countrymen in the countryside.

    When I was a kid I remember a situation in a tram when a lady jumped in a tram and began to talk loudly with her friend.
    And there was a very an old lady sitting who turned and very politely said: 'My dear, could please spek a little bit lower, you are in St.Petersburg'
    It was not pretencious, and it really reflected the special spirit that the city once had.
    I still caught (but also mostly as an exception)... modern young people don't any more.

  6. #55

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    Bill is blessed to have the wife who is also his personal manager. I think Sco in the same situation.

    It's hard to underestimate the role of a good partner in musicians life. Where would we be without our gf or wives?

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    Bill is blessed to have the wife who is also his personal manager. I think Sco in the same situation.

    It's hard to underestimate the role of a good partner in musicians life. Where would we be without our gf or wives?
    Amen to that.

  8. #57

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    A friend of mine is pursuing a career in conducting. He's got a phd in music and everything. He once told me that his true passion was composition. I asked then why he went down the conducting path. He said there's no money in composition.
    What a sellout lol.
    Some people desperately need financial advice.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 07-27-2019 at 09:47 PM.

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    I put it on yeterday late at night while doing some home stuff... it is always interesting to hear Bill talk - he has very intimate and inmidiate style of conversation. THough I heard most of the fact before it was really great to listent to it again in such nice 'table talk'.

    By the way.. dose anybody know if it is possible to buy the film "The Portrait' about him in some kind of other form than purchasing a DVD?
    It is really too expensive to order a CD form States here... I have a friend in teh States who come here once or twice a year so he brings me some things like that but I do not know when he comes really.
    Digital streaming rental here: Watch Bill Frisell, A Portrait Online | Vimeo On Demand on Vimeo

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by David B
    Thank you!
    not available for Russia unfortunately. But I asked Emma in a message, maybe she would advise another option.

  11. #60

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    Great thread!

    People seem to reduce everything down to black & white - oh it's talent OR luck.

    Anyone working in music realises it's BOTH.
    I'd agree - it's both but it's also about networks. I just finished a book called "The Formula" which talks about all of this and how in anything with an element of subjectivity (the book uses modern art but the same applies to jazz musicians), success is partly about your networks e.g. "it's not what you know, it's who you know".

    Bobby mentioned selling out Ronnies, but he probably didn't have the personal connections to get to other venues in the UK or Europe to make that visit worthwhile. And yet there are a decent number of venues and festivals across Europe that I'm sure would be happy to book (and pay!) a player of his calibre. It probably helps to know the organizers though.

  12. #61

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  13. #62

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    He can teach during the day and play in Chicago at night. Not bad at all.

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by xavriley
    Great thread!



    I'd agree - it's both but it's also about networks. I just finished a book called "The Formula" which talks about all of this and how in anything with an element of subjectivity (the book uses modern art but the same applies to jazz musicians), success is partly about your networks e.g. "it's not what you know, it's who you know".

    Bobby mentioned selling out Ronnies, but he probably didn't have the personal connections to get to other venues in the UK or Europe to make that visit worthwhile. And yet there are a decent number of venues and festivals across Europe that I'm sure would be happy to book (and pay!) a player of his calibre. It probably helps to know the organizers though.
    This is very much the case...

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    The players all have jazz degrees. Many of them can even play jazz pretty well (although they are not Bobby)
    not sure that's true. I know many with no degree

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by xavriley
    I'd agree - it's both but it's also about networks.
    This is pretty much verbatim what Mike Moreno told me.
    He was already playing at a high level when he left Houston for New York. He didn’t need to go to New School so that someone could teach him how to play. he went there to build networks and it was a great place for him to try out new music, compositions and arrangements he was working on. It would be pretty good to have someone like Kendrick Scott to play with at school everyday.

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzism
    This is pretty much verbatim what Mike Moreno told me.
    He was already playing at a high level when he left Houston for New York. He didn’t need to go to New School so that someone could teach him how to play. he went there to build networks and it was a great place for him to try out new music, compositions and arrangements he was working on. It would be pretty good to have someone like Kendrick Scott to play with at school everyday.
    I went to the New School at the same time as Mike and he definitely played great straight out of high school. Of course, he went to HS with Robert Glasper, Alan Hampton, Reggie Quinerly, and a bunch of other really great players.

    Jazz school is primarily about networking, IMO. You go to school, hopefully meet people and play with them and form bonds and such, and you keep playing with those folks throughout your life. It also gives you some time where you aren't just working jobs and scuffling to get by.

  18. #67

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    Plus something to fall back on later in life. A lot harder to teach on a college/University level even for a recording artist without a bachelor or Masters nowadays..

  19. #68

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    I enjoyed reading this thread. Thank you all.

  20. #69

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    The open letter by Bobby Broom is another classic example of the death of the Arts in the United States and the very real prospect of not being able to work full-time as a Jazzer. This,also, is the case with most Classical musicians. When young people begin the study of Music, they should not be misled by their teachers that a career in Music performance is a real possibility as a full-time profession(unless they teach) and that only a select few in the entire country will be able to fulfill their dreams. I performed regularly in Chicago during the 60's and 70's(saxophone, flute, guitar) and soon realized that the bleak scenario was real and retooled my life away from music for a more stable lifestyle. I continued to play, casually, throughout the years with a few jobs ,here and there, but have not returned to music full-time until now that I have retired. This was a deep-felt confession by Bobby and reflects the sad reality of serious music in America. Good playing . . . Marinero

  21. #70

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    Let's just say it Real Music as we grew up with is basically DEAD! And although it is still available to listen to for free,there is really nothing now replacing it.
    When real musicians can no longer earn a basic living,and content is free we are simply left with what is the current entertainment.
    I constantly am told there is new content.And that may be true,but is it of the past quality. I feel really sad for Bobby Broom and his compatriots. When musicians this good can no longer earn a living it says a lot about the public's taste in music.

  22. #71

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    Any jazz musician can end up with 1 million dollars in his/her pocket. You do need to have very good chops, impeccable time feel, solid repertoire and 2 million dollars.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 09-01-2019 at 01:35 PM.

  23. #72

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    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
    Robert Frost (1874–1963), The Road Not Taken


    When I started teaching myself to play the guitar 50 years ago:

    - I had no illusions of becoming a rich and famous recording and performing musician
    - I did not expect to ever perform, tour, or do studio work
    - I did not anticipate ever playing in a band with others
    - I did not even have a strong feeling that I would ever learn the instrument

    What I did know is that I loved playing the guitar for its own sake. I had no lessons, or method books, or any schedule of progress milestones. I was not in a hurry because I just liked playing; kind of like someone who gets a new car and discovers that they really enjoy driving, not rushing from point A to point B as fast as possible as if they detested any time spent in the car.

    This is why:

    - I was happy with my $29 solid body and no amp for the first six years
    - I was a bedroom player for the first 20 years, unheard by anyone
    - I freely explored every kind of music
    - I peculiarly agreed to an offer to sit in with a jazz band one night (my first time playing with a band; they had me up all night, then asked me to sit in with them, two nights a week for about 12 weeks, after which they moved on to the next city in their circuit and left me wondering if maybe I might be able to play in bands after all!?)

    Since then I played in many bands (usually two or three at the same time), accumulated well over 10K hours of stage performance, and continue to perform regularly; in fact I need to prepare for a couple of shows this evening and tomorrow (brunch) with my jazz trio.

    My point is that the gradient for me has been of increasing opportunity and satisfaction... because I did not plan, anticipate, or expect anything to happen.

    I have a sense that most people did it the other way:

    - being in a hurry, so loading a schedule against lessons, method books, progress milestones, keeping track of how many songs learned, how well this and number of that
    - planning to perform, play in bands, have the right gear, and learn what will need to be known
    - thinking along the lines of possibly being a professional musician
    - similar goal oriented focus forward

    It would not surprise me that many would feel disappointment from experiencing a continuous confrontation with reality, a path of retractions, diminishing expectations, and anxious frustrations with uncomfortable changes happening in the music scene over the years.

  24. #73

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    Inspiring words. It’s all about the journey :-)

  25. #74

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    In case you thought Classical music was better off...

    Strike with the Band | Kate Wagner

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by docsteve
    In case you thought Classical music was better off...

    Strike with the Band | Kate Wagner
    I have no sympathy for classical orchestra musicians, there are very, very few instances in the US where pro performances aren't heavily subsidized by local, state, or federal gov't. If only jazz musicians had that kind of support. Classical music hasn't really stood on it's own strengths for a century.

  27. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    I have no sympathy for classical orchestra musicians, there are very, very few instances in the US where pro performances aren't heavily subsidized by local, state, or federal gov't. If only jazz musicians had that kind of support. Classical music hasn't really stood on it's own strengths for a century.

    Classical music never was in the open market (except operatic enterprises of 18th -19th century that in some Wuropean countries - except France - depended directly on the income from sales).

    All the rest was mostly paid by the church or rich patrons. It did not depend on how many people would buy tickets, it did not bring profit as did regular commerce and banking.
    And it is more or less similar to today's support from goverment, universities, funds etc. Good musicians and writers gather around Universities and Academies having different honourable degrees and positions like Writer in residence or Poet Laureat... which often (not always) means just that they are supported, paid some salary for their artistic achievents (of course some of them can be really good full time teachers but mostly this is very formal).

    One of the problem I see today with jazz that it came from commercial industry originally (especially considering it was US where the open market realtionship, sales, profitablity were very important part of mentality)... and it seems that they believe that one can just sell good music in the open market - and it seems they think it has always been like that. But it was not like that. Actully never.

    There were some great American non-jazz musicians... fro example Charles Ives is one my favousrite composers ever - and he had successful insuarance business, Morton Feldman if I remember correctle had some carpet business... this kind of music was never marketable at all - especially in the country like America - they never really thought they would earn living from it...

    Every exception - like Philippe Glass - meant crossover or interaction with pop-music... or good marketing of his art as Pop-art...

    Wha t I am trying to say that things change... ecomomics change.

    Jordi Savall - one of the most succeful commercially serious classicl musician of our days probably- also reacted recently on the problem with earning from concerts and recording: he said openly and clearly that real art should not be paid depending on profitablity, it should be paid and supported just becasue it exists. That is it.

    As for jazz.. there is one difficulty with it.. part od its authencity is connected with indepndednt commercial club form. In some saence going under goverment support, into academies and universities kills some part of this independencs spirit...
    The same concerns rock...
    I can hardly imagine characters like Bird or Jim Morrison prosper under some University support...

  28. #77

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    I hope that his position at the university has afforded him some financial stability.

    Maybe not pertaining to Bobby Broom, but the one thing that I see that most successful artists pursue regardless of the reception is productivity. Like massive productivity. They are driven to promote themselves through the work that they can do. More than one successful painter has filled up a museum.

  29. #78

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    Hi All,

    I was pleasantly surprised to see that I inspired such a hearty thread. Because of that I thought I'd check in with an update about my current situation. Before I do I'd like to say a few things, not the least of which is that I really appreciate all of the discussion, concern and advice.

    I've lived and felt every second of this journey with its inherent up and down extremes. I realize that I have been extremely blessed because at the age of 15 I devoted my life to jazz music. At that point it was for no reason other than being enamored with a passion for the music. I could barely play, but was learning fast. Very soon after that I "realized" that I had been born a generation too late and probably wouldn't get to do what I wanted to do in music: to play with and/or be like one of the guys on those records I was falling in love with. I decided that it didn't matter to me what did or didn't happen. What was most important was that I learn to play well enough to earn respect as a true jazz musician. I also decided then that being famous was not my goal. It was shortly after that that magic began to happen for me. No, not that I could play all of a sudden (that took years), but that opportunities began to occur that would carry me through to a life in Jazz.

    I understand that someone would view my original exposé as a complaint. It's a harsh world we live in. Considering the feelings of another man is too much for some to bear. Trust that I thoroughly considered how what I wrote, or I myself, would be viewed before I pressed "send." I wound up saying "fuck it" because I was tired of feeling like I was protecting my truth.

    Regarding managers, agents, bad attitudes, social media, boogeymen, etc., remember that I have been a performing musician and educator for 40 years. I have experienced a lot. I've seen record deals and self-produced recordings. Made demos recorded via four track cassette machines, eight track analog tape synced to keyboard/ midi controlled computer programs and DAWs. I've had agents, managers, etc., good and bad. I create various kinds of content and have active socials. I am fortunate to have a career as a performing musician, having been asked to play by the masters, some of whom I idolized on those records I was in love with. I've traveled with my own groups and have been an opening act on major concert tours. Hell, I've even made magazine's critics' and readers' polls. And although like many Americans I worry about finances, I've never been destitute, ever. And, after about 15 years in the biz I understood that I needed to adjust my goals to include some amount of "fame" or recognition in order to work as a leader.

    So, why was I "complaining" then? Simply because that in spite of all those accomplishments I still am not afforded opportunities that would allow me to sustain myself as a performing artist/leader and certainly not commensurate with many of my peers of comparable stature in the field. Sure, everyone's road in life is different. I get that. Also, I know that there are other possible contributing factors that might explain my difficulties. I, like those in the thread, have refrained from exploring every possibility.

    Speaking of difficulty, I'm sure no one predicted that there would be no performing opportunities available to anyone due to a worldwide pandemic! Once again I thank my lucky stars because a bit over a year ago I was appointed to a full-time university Jazz Studies position. Teaching has been an integral part of my career since 1982 when saxophonist, Jackie McLean, asked me to teach in his African-American Music Program at Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford. If I had accepted his following offer in 1983, to head the Guitar Program there, I would probably be retired by now (at least as far as receiving a pension is concerned). But I refused the position because I felt unqualified. (The artist in me strikes again.) Well, now I am qualified and loving being Professor of Jazz Guitar/Jazz Studies. I have a healthy studio of eleven students and I teach a few different classes in various semesters – jazz improv, jazz history and music business. And if that isn't enough, the university encourages me to pursue my usual creative/artistic and performing activities in order to fulfill the "research" requirements of the position. So, after teaching in higher ed for nearly 20 years, getting my masters degree at age 45 and finally seriously pursuing a position such as this nearly 10 years ago, the stars seem to have aligned.

    But the saga continues. I still have a strong desire to create and to share my music with people. My greatest satisfactions in this game have been those that don't equate with monetary value – the joy of playing music with people, touching upon the occasional and elusive heights of the creative spirit, watching a student experience a breakthrough or develop from not much to everything. So now as I continue working my ass off, I can seemingly breathe a welcomed (and deserved) sigh of relief. On the other hand, I continue to have personal musical career goals, like wanting to play in Europe and at major jazz venues around the States annually. Because I am and will always be a jazz musician and due to my Capricorn nature I will most likely continue grinding. I know that people tend to relate to an underdog, so I hope that some of you will continue pulling for me, because I still am one, but I thought I'd follow this thread with a little clarification and something maybe a bit more positive. I don't doubt someone will see this one as boastful. ??

    Wishing You All the Best,
    Bobby

  30. #79

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    Mr. Broom - I first became aware of your artistry listening to "Jazz with Bob Parlocha" at 4:00 AM while driving to my day job. Your sound, your groove, and your melodic mastery were like a beacon in the darkness. I just want to say, "Thank You" for your contributions to the art of Jazz and jazz guitar.

  31. #80

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    What K said. And thanks for posting. It's a good read and a real treat to hear from the real deal. I'm relieved to find that you've landed well. I hope you get to do some serious jazz 'research' again soon!

  32. #81

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    Kudos, Bobby . . . you're a certified warrior! Play live . . . Marinero

  33. #82
    Bobby,

    You're one of the baddest guitar players out there in my book.

    Things are tough all over with this pandemic going on as you said. I hope you find away to keep at it with your teaching. It's hard to not be a bit pessimistic about the the way things are in this country with respect to the arts among other things when I hear things like this.

    I'm pulling for you.

  34. #83

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    Now it's time for Duke to join th thread too...

  35. #84

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    what a great first post from mr. bobby broom...not only a great guitarist, but obviously a gentleman and a scholar

    may he forever draw satisfaction from his many accomplishments

    cheers

  36. #85

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    Had the pleasure of hearing you with Miles Davis here in the Twin Cities many moons ago! It didn't seem to be a Jazz Gig in the traditional sense type of gig. But It sure was enlightening in a good way!

    I can empathize completely with your experiences albeit at a much more local level and as a pro guitarist for over 40 years as well.
    Jazz while being the more enlightened music in modern recorded music times. Well may be the hardest to pursue as a professional musician!

    I always loved it from a late teenager hearing both Chick Corea Light as a Feather, John Coltrane Giant Steps, George Benson, etc.
    But I came form the Albert King and R &B Cornell Dupree side first. And Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, etc were much more accepted as Pop Music
    So my path was much easier in one sense that I could play gigs to survive.

    Later working with several well known local national acts in what's now called Funk Genre. I experienced the reality of a business that has little to do with actual musical ability and more with selling widgets.
    Not saying people couldn't play, but their actual musical vocabulary was quite limited including my own at that time.

    I have come to appreciate the Jazz or Geat American Songbook as a great College Level Course in how music works harmonically,lyrically,etc.
    I've also been priveledged to play with the likes of great musicians such as Eric Gravat, Doc Severensen, Jack McDuff and many local greats here in the Twin Cities.
    Even at 63 I'm just happy to be a student of such great Music and talented Musicians. Bobby Broom you are World Class Sir!
    Last edited by jads57; 11-16-2020 at 11:40 PM.

  37. #86

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    Bobby Broom as I first stumbled across his trio on D’s Blues.

  38. #87

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    Bobby
    I'm an amateur player who will never be that good but... I'd rather be a bad jazz guitarist than good at most other things.

    I'm the guy who will buy your recordings, and if you play nearby, I'll come to hear you and stay all evening, buying food and hoping the venue notices the uptick in receipts.

    I'm happy you have landed on your feet and have a solid spot from which to continue practicing your art. This music is not dead until the last person who loves it dies and I think we are still a long way off from that. People like you are keeping it alive and giving middling amateurs like me something to strive for, even if it's just some fresh ideas for playing "Misty" or "Autumn Leaves." Yeah, that's where I am. Thank you for staying with the fight.

    I'm a Capricorn too... I don't believe in astrology, but like a stopped clock that's right twice a day, it seems to have scored a direct hit.

  39. #88
    When I started this thread, I never expected Bobby to notice our little corner of the woods. That said, it is fantastic that he is situated in a teaching position during this pandemic so that he has some stability. Bobby is one of my favorite musicians and it was nice to hear an update on his status.

  40. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    He should stop whingeing and just get a day job, like the other 99.999% of jazz guitarists have to. Heck, even Tal Farlow did that, and he was a guitar god when Jazz ruled the world...
    Tal never made much money playing the guitar, and his "day job" was pretty much as rewarding for him as his music. Being a bebop star only means nice articles in very small publications like Jazziz and Downbeat. Jazz never ruled the world.

  41. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    Tal never made much money playing the guitar, and his "day job" was pretty much as rewarding for him as his music. Being a bebop star only means nice articles in very small publications like Jazziz and Downbeat. Jazz never ruled the world.
    Louis Armstrong and miles Davis respectfully beg to differ.

    But yes you’re right really. With a few exceptions especially since 1960 or so jazz is a niche taste. Is this sad? Probably. Maybe we should be grateful that there are those who stick with it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  42. #91

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    I believe Bobby Broom has had a day job teaching at a Chicago University or College. In fact since the 1960s many greats like Rufus Reid, Richard Davis, etc have taught at Universities and Colleges to support themselves.

    As far as whining, it's criminal that such great musicians go under appreciated by their fellow Americans. Europe and Japan have the good sense to recognize great talent and art when we reward mostly banal crap that passes for music.

  43. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Broom View Post
    Hi All,

    I was pleasantly surprised to see that I inspired such a hearty thread. Because of that I thought I'd check in with an update about my current situation. Before I do I'd like to say a few things, not the least of which is that I really appreciate all of the discussion, concern and advice.

    I've lived and felt every second of this journey with its inherent up and down extremes. I realize that I have been extremely blessed because at the age of 15 I devoted my life to jazz music. At that point it was for no reason other than being enamored with a passion for the music. I could barely play, but was learning fast. Very soon after that I "realized" that I had been born a generation too late and probably wouldn't get to do what I wanted to do in music: to play with and/or be like one of the guys on those records I was falling in love with. I decided that it didn't matter to me what did or didn't happen. What was most important was that I learn to play well enough to earn respect as a true jazz musician. I also decided then that being famous was not my goal. It was shortly after that that magic began to happen for me. No, not that I could play all of a sudden (that took years), but that opportunities began to occur that would carry me through to a life in Jazz.

    I understand that someone would view my original exposé as a complaint. It's a harsh world we live in. Considering the feelings of another man is too much for some to bear. Trust that I thoroughly considered how what I wrote, or I myself, would be viewed before I pressed "send." I wound up saying "fuck it" because I was tired of feeling like I was protecting my truth.

    Regarding managers, agents, bad attitudes, social media, boogeymen, etc., remember that I have been a performing musician and educator for 40 years. I have experienced a lot. I've seen record deals and self-produced recordings. Made demos recorded via four track cassette machines, eight track analog tape synced to keyboard/ midi controlled computer programs and DAWs. I've had agents, managers, etc., good and bad. I create various kinds of content and have active socials. I am fortunate to have a career as a performing musician, having been asked to play by the masters, some of whom I idolized on those records I was in love with. I've traveled with my own groups and have been an opening act on major concert tours. Hell, I've even made magazine's critics' and readers' polls. And although like many Americans I worry about finances, I've never been destitute, ever. And, after about 15 years in the biz I understood that I needed to adjust my goals to include some amount of "fame" or recognition in order to work as a leader.

    So, why was I "complaining" then? Simply because that in spite of all those accomplishments I still am not afforded opportunities that would allow me to sustain myself as a performing artist/leader and certainly not commensurate with many of my peers of comparable stature in the field. Sure, everyone's road in life is different. I get that. Also, I know that there are other possible contributing factors that might explain my difficulties. I, like those in the thread, have refrained from exploring every possibility.

    Speaking of difficulty, I'm sure no one predicted that there would be no performing opportunities available to anyone due to a worldwide pandemic! Once again I thank my lucky stars because a bit over a year ago I was appointed to a full-time university Jazz Studies position. Teaching has been an integral part of my career since 1982 when saxophonist, Jackie McLean, asked me to teach in his African-American Music Program at Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford. If I had accepted his following offer in 1983, to head the Guitar Program there, I would probably be retired by now (at least as far as receiving a pension is concerned). But I refused the position because I felt unqualified. (The artist in me strikes again.) Well, now I am qualified and loving being Professor of Jazz Guitar/Jazz Studies. I have a healthy studio of eleven students and I teach a few different classes in various semesters – jazz improv, jazz history and music business. And if that isn't enough, the university encourages me to pursue my usual creative/artistic and performing activities in order to fulfill the "research" requirements of the position. So, after teaching in higher ed for nearly 20 years, getting my masters degree at age 45 and finally seriously pursuing a position such as this nearly 10 years ago, the stars seem to have aligned.

    But the saga continues. I still have a strong desire to create and to share my music with people. My greatest satisfactions in this game have been those that don't equate with monetary value – the joy of playing music with people, touching upon the occasional and elusive heights of the creative spirit, watching a student experience a breakthrough or develop from not much to everything. So now as I continue working my ass off, I can seemingly breathe a welcomed (and deserved) sigh of relief. On the other hand, I continue to have personal musical career goals, like wanting to play in Europe and at major jazz venues around the States annually. Because I am and will always be a jazz musician and due to my Capricorn nature I will most likely continue grinding. I know that people tend to relate to an underdog, so I hope that some of you will continue pulling for me, because I still am one, but I thought I'd follow this thread with a little clarification and something maybe a bit more positive. I don't doubt someone will see this one as boastful. ??

    Wishing You All the Best,
    Bobby
    Hey Bobby: We've met and played---though it was a long time ago (once at Randy Johnston's gig; once at yours at 55 bar---and now that it comes into focus we maybe played the one tune at Randy's gig. But 'nice eyes, Pres'---and glad you're OK in this shit).

    I understand your sentiments and they're well-expressed in print. You seem like a guy who counts his blessings, and that doesn't happen often enough at the overcrowded trough of jazz. In fact, if I may, you bring to mind a pet peeve of my own: successful jazzers (pop people sometimes, too---alas) talking shit PUBLICLY about their peers' work---sometimes even their BETTERS! Not naming names here, but it makes the mudslinger look petty; jealous; generally a maladjusted asshole. (When I was a school kid I'll never forget a social studies teacher giving some example, wrapping up with: 'When you attack someone THEY get sympathy'. Wise words, know what I mean?)

    So in the count-your-blessings department I guess I don't do too badly. If anything I've probably been more noticed of late for composing/songwriting than playing (or is that in my head?). Fine with me, b/c I love song and writing as much as I do improvising; backing a good singer; etc. It's all music and a privilege to be in the game and get paid. Like there are MANY people stuck in jobs or with bosses they despise, but they have few or no options but to stay there and feel miserable, or they and their families would be in a shelter or something equally unappealing.

    My point (and I have a feeling yours too): No one owes ANYBODY ANYTHING!! We come into this life and leave it in our birthday suits, and what happens in-between is largely on us. Now I'm not saying here that some people aren't born with certain strikes against them---a variety. But ultimately we can at least in part if not be masters of our destinies at least achieve plenty through sheer stick-to-it-iveness.

    The jazz field? That's a lot to chew over, and I wouldn't want to steal your thunder, so I'll just point to the above paragraph and say it applies there.

    That's it, guitar brother. Nice to read your well-articulated words and well-reasoned sentiments. Be well and safe---Joel Fass...

  44. #93

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    The Federal government needs to put money into bebop as a preserved American art form.

    They need to put money into public broadcasting, for the sake of the population's culture and IQ. PBS and NPR became more a vehicle for Yanni, Deadmaus and Wilco than for educated jazz and classical music. At best we get local college jazz stations.

    Once the public channels were forced to living off private funding and donations, they planted their feet into pop culture.