I was chatting with a fellow muso today about players that we know that have made an impression on us over the years. There was much agreement on who we found to be inspirational until he told me the following tale (shortened here).
A musician of note had been touring internationally with a group of high level players when one night he declared that he had enough of this stuff, packed up in the middle of the gig and left.
This to me demonstrates what I consider to be wrong with more than a few performers today. The player was known for being into experimental music and may not have been the best choice for the gig but, he knew what the gig was and took it on. I would not wish to cast aspersions upon anyone for expressing them selves in music but, if it gets in the way of the gig then the player needs to find another element, in what they are doing, to explore. Even parts that can appear simplistic can be raised to another level on the bandstand by changing ones approach.
I have been guilty of passing on some music during my time. Sometimes it is a specific tune or style. The justifications can be varied but ultimately they say more about me than the music.
All this to say we should all take a moment to consider why we are musicians. Is it to satisfy some idealized need within ourselves, to play with other musicians, to entertain an audience? Perhaps a combination of these.
Back to enjoying the heat of summer, at last.