After I posted my review of Bryan and the Haggards a couple days ago I had forgotten about something I’ve noticed when I see a lot of folks play: it doesn’t seem like many of them are actually having fun while they play, and sometimes it sounds like it. Hell, it seems like some of them don’t even want to be playing. I don’t know, maybe they don’t. Perhaps they are loving what they are doing, enjoying themselves on the inside. Perhaps they are taking a cue from the boppers or Miles Davis, or even Bob Dylan and feel that emoting while playing distracts or detracts from the music. Totally valid approaches. But…sometimes I feel the “I want to take this music way too seriously” approach can detract from the music, in that by trying to remain serious could be a way in which ideas are suppressed, creativity stifled. But, if you have seen me play (dance band, combo, freak out Ayler tribute band, whatever), that’s not how I get down.
Below you will find a clip of an alto solo by Jon Irabagon from a live performance by Mostly Other People Do the Killing that embodies fun combined with killing playing. Sure, I’ve seen and heard that some people don’t like the group, saying that they’re not serious, or whatever. Who cares. Not only are the members of the group bad bad dudes on their instruments and play well together, but they manage to play great music and have fun doing it.
Oh, and lest my recent fixation on dudes associated with the Hot Cup label suggest that I am no more than a mouthpiece or party organ of the label and its musicians, I’m not – I just dig their stuff and their approach to musicking.
Oh, and more more final final point – perhaps making the music fun to experience (I’m not talking about pandering or showboating or what have you) can be a way to get more people to dig the music. Last night I had the privilege to check out one of KC’s awesomest annual holiday traditions: the Peoples Liberation Big Band and the Owen/Cox dance company’s production of the Nutcracker and the Mouse King (video from the 2010 production here). Not only was it exceptionally well conceived, produced and executed, but it was both artistic and fun as hell. And people liked it – a lot.
Ok, with out more words from me – watch this video and get your fun on…