Hired Hands

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by brassneck, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    With bands increasingly using jazz and big band scores, I'm interested in anyone's views about hiring professional jazz players for entertainment contests. Although there are quite a few banders who play big bands and jazz groups, how do you feel about hiring someone to take the lead solos with unquestionable jazz technique and range in a contest environment? It does add more authenticity to the performance but is it fair on the other bands who don't?
  2. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Farnham, Surrey, UK
    Is this any different from bringing in a ringer or two from the professional world to take part in other contests?
    I have heard a number of bands fail miserably when it comes to playing in a more "big band" style, at least with a specialist in there, the players might start getting the idea.
    The majority of bands swing in a similar manner to most brick walls.

    If it is ok to bring in (for example) a professional orchestral trumpeter (even if their roots are with brass bands) to help out at a major contest, why not the same rules for entertainments contests?

    Either you have no professional ringers, or all are allowed - I long for the days when I hear a band play the swing numbers without cringing at the lack of style. I have only heard Black Dyke manage a really impressive sense of style in that genre. The others have always sounded like people trying to swing. If the way to achieve this is to bring in a few jazz guys to play, well, why not - many of them have their early roots in banding (Derek Watkins is a major case of this), they just happen to have gone in a different direction later in life.
  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    The only brass band that I have heard who can consistently 'swing' is Battle Creek simply because most of the players do specialise in jazz as well as other styles. Then again this band was formed for entertaining players and audiences alike, ... not for contesting.
  4. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    It smacks of cheating, to me. The top bands may have money to throw at winning a contest etc. but there is more to banding than the Championship section. I may be naive, but I'd like sections to be won by the best bands, not the band with the best connections (or money) to bring in 'ringers'. If it became the norm in lower sections, I wouldn't bother contesting at all.
  5. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Hadleigh, Essex
    I'm not particularly keen on any players being imported for specific occasions. On the other hand, if you are in contact with some real jazzers, why not arrange for them to come and do a couple of workshops to help the band cope with the stylistic diferences needed?
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