I'm Tony Miceli, and I'm a vibe player in Philadelphia, Pa. I play, teach and I run

Sunday, October 30, 2005

I have an hour to kill

OK, check in, how many people arrived to their gig an hour early. My wife who loves any opportunity to zing me, said Sunday Morning 'when do you have to leave'. I said 'soon'. She said 'you gonna be late'? I said, 'If i don't hurry'. She sat for a moment and said 'it's daylight savings'.

I do it every year, well actually twice a year. In the Spring I'm always in a panic cause I'm going to be late. I usually figure it out and make the spring gigs.

So now i have an hour to kill. Just curious who else did that?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Dave Liebman's Perspective

Chris Varga a vibist from South Korea sent me this quote from Dave Liebman. This is an intersting perspective!

Since we've been on this topic of playing for the public and since I got some crap about being bugged about playing in front of people who don't have a clue here's an interesting perspective.

Liebman interview excerpt:

DL: The way I like to see it, the audience is there to see you do your trip. Your trip is to be completely committed to the music, with intensity. Again, it doesn't mean loud and fast necessarily -- it could be slow, there could be a lot of space between notes. But you're committed. My ideal audience comes to enjoy and watch that trip, non-judgmentally. Not "I like it" or "I don't like it," but: "This is a guy who does this; this is his job. He's an expert at this, and that's why I'm paying my money to come to see it so I go with him on it." As far as I'm concerned, that's what the audience is there for. That's the so-called entertainment, pure and simple. Okay, you might say: "Hello, my name's Dave, this is my drummer;" you're on time, you don't look like a pig. But beyond that, if you're doing something to be "entertaining," I've got a problem with it.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

What if Paul Anka is Your Band Leader! Listen to This!

Check This Out!
Check this link out. I've been bitching about bands and gigs, well I should feel lucky, I could work for Paul Anka!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Gigs around the world

So I was whining about a horrible gig a few blogs back. Some musicians got a little bugged with me, told me to shut up, not take gigs I don't want to do and be happy people are responding to the music.

I stopped doing that gig and picked up another Friday night gig. We played 3 sets, people sat listened and hung out at this beautiful Italian restaurant. After the first set we sat down and they brought out a ton of food. A nice gig.

I realized while I was eating that what the hell, that's not too much to be 'fed'. Not too much to ask for a little respect and consideration. People were pissed because I was complaining about these things???

I remember doing gigs in Germany and surrounding countries. We'd show up, set up and then sit down. The owner would come to our table and ask what we wanted to eat. If it was a bar with little or no food they would go out and get us something to eat. It felt good. We felt appreciated.

It takes little effort for a club to take care of the band and make us feel good.

So where are you from and what are gigs like in your part of the world? Forget the money part although I'm curious about that also, however I'm mainly curious about how you're treated, what are the sets like (4 hour gig? 3?). You get to eat? etc.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Tom Giaccabetti's Lesson

Tom 's lesson is pretty popular with guitar players. It's the one on playing melodies on different strings. Just thought I'd mention it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sound Talk Podcast

I put up an interesting podcast with John Vanore who specializes in recording accoustic instruments. He has a lot to say about recording and jazz and the fact that owning a recording software program does not make you an engineer.

He reminds me that you have to go in the studio with your act together. He talks about comparing instruments on different CDs and the wide variety of sounds for each instrument.

The podcast is here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Pompous ASS

Is that what I am? somebody complained on one of my earlier blogs and pretty much told me to shut up because i was whining about a club that treated musicians pretty poorly and because of people who had no clue as to what we were doing there.

Let's take a scenario, there's a band playing. They're really into it. They've written some great original stuff. Odd time meters, interesting changes. They're solos show how connected they are too each other. It's smokin. They're swinging, whatever. They get done playing and they feel really good about what they've just done and someone comes up to them and says "HEY YOU GUYS KNOW 'BAD BAD LEROY BROWN'". If those guys thought that person was a total asshole would they be pompous? If they wanted to strangle that person would they be elitist? Should they just play the tune and be happy someone has requested something.

OK this is an extreme and this is not what happened on the gig i was on. AND YES I PLAY IN A JAZZ band that does rock tunes. But it's different.

I remember playing Icarus (Ralph Towner) with a guitarist Steve Giordano. I thought we played a great version. Steve is a great guitarist. When we were done the owner came over and asked "Is that a medley?" Steve said "No". Club Owner said "That's all one song". Steve said yes. Club owner said "You guys can leave.". We laugh now, but that owner thought we were HORRIBLE. Were we horrible we wondered? Maybe we really suck and can't play. Maybe or music sounds bad.

I believe people like what they like and don't like what they don't like. Nothing you can do about that, it's nobodies fault, no one is to blame. Nothing personal. It is though very frustrating when you're thrown into a situation like that. When all you do is practice at your instrument for hours and hours and years and years and you feel you're at least at a certain level and nobody gets it.

I'm pretty much a nobody but I bust my ass and practice like many of the musicians that come to this site do. How many of the great musicians on this site that have to go out and do weddings come home after the gig and go 'wow, that was a great version of feelings!'. Or man those people were dancing there butts off, I felt so good playing New York New York for them. Or how about 'yeah that drummers a plummer full time, and yeah he rushes and drops beats, doesn't know forms of tunes, but we made some heavy music at that barmitzvah. ORRR 'when that lady was coming up to the band stand I was just praying she'd ask us to play 'Hot Hot Hot' and better than that she asked for a Lionel Richie medley. Man that's the shit!!!' Or 'that band leader is right, I should be a little less creative'.

Sooooo I walked into this restaraunt a few weeks ago and it was beautiful and i thought cool, we'll play nice music people will hang out and listen, we'll eat some great italian food, the vibes will sound great in here. Well they triple booked, double booked, shorted me money, asked me 'if that's all i play'. And then they charged me for a soda! I know, I shouldn't do the gig, yeah yeah yeah.

Played with a piano /singer who has a beautiful voice and realized nobody gave a shit.

Now I'm wondering if I'm being pompous. Maybe I am. But there's a couple problems. I need the money, I like playing with the piano player, I need the money.

So I guess I go shut up and put up. Which I pretty much did for the most part. I never complained on the gig and when the owner shorted me money, I just split. No scene.

So most musicians wouldn't wine to other musicians? They'd find the 'good' in it?

would I do the gig again? Let me look at my November......... YEP.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Check out this insight on the Miles Band

I recently did a vibe talk podcast with Wilson Moorman. I've emailed him for about a year now. He's a total historian. He knows so much! He plays classical percussion and jazz. He's worked with lots of people including Chick Corea, Ron Carter and Larry Young. Sooo anyway, he was telling me about Sam Rivers playing in the Miles band. Here's an excerpt from our email. I didn't know any of this.

If I were a Bell on track one of that CD has never ending III VI- II V cadences that extend the form in an experimental way. That group was so advanced!!!
Miles was very challenged by that band and Sam's "freedom" was a perfectly favorable contrast, since it was so unabashedly wild! Sam felt that Miles was too "straight" and conservative, but he enjoyed playing with Tony and Herbie. The 1st time I heard that new quintet live at the original Birdland was with Sam, and they were so hip until they nearly ran Miles off the bandstand, but he would always "front" by walking off the bandstand anyhow!!! Sam was then only slightly more conservative than Dolphy. After slamming Dolphy in a Downbeat blindfold test with 4-letter words, Miles begged Dolphy to join the band, and Dolphy probably told him to shove the trumpet up his arrogant pinstriped ass!!! Sam's "outness" prepared Miles for how Wayne would later solo in the last 2 years or so of that infamous acoustic quintet. Tony persuaded Miles to hire Sam until Miles could steal Wayne away from Art Blakey, because 'Trane recommended Wayne ahead of Joe Henderson, who was an occasional auxilliary. Wayne and Herbie would have everyone lay out on certain tunes and they would play extended stratospheric cadenzas before bringing everyone back in. There are some JMY CDs of bootleg Miles Davis Quintet performances with George Wein that are outrageously creatively abstract and all of these occurred after the sessions at the Plugged Nickel in Chicago, which, when I first met Herbie, he described as being "etherial". The player I knew the best, on a professional level, was Ron Carter. When I gigged with him and Mabern, his Fender basslines sounded and felt very acoustic. Ron was and is reclusively introverted, but he knew the whole scene like a mathematician in a chess match. I wasn't going to be dumb enough to ask him very personal questions about his former employer.

I'm almost positive that this scenario is accurate, but transferred details can easily get exaggerated.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

m-audio micro track recorder

have you guys seen this machine. records to a flash card. a 1 gig flash card will record of 20 hours of music and stick it in an mp3 format. it's amazing. the sound is unbelievable.

i got it here, at Music Technology learning Center. These guys were great. Tell them you read this on larrys Improv Page. Why? Because I'm always curious as to who reads what and what happens.

i've been recording my gigs and the quality is amazing!

no commercial really, not getting any bread, just a really cool item.

jazz at the hair salon,

after all this bullshit during the last couple weeks i look forward to my 'jazz' gig at the hair salon. yep, of all the places there is a hair salon that has jazz every saturday. it's amazing, the accoustics are cool, the people are great. the women are beautiful which can be distracting but that's ok.

it's funny because you'd think this would be the last place you'd ever want to play jazz, but it's an amazingly great gig. i've played their with joe magnerelli, steve slagle, john swana and many others.

besides people coming to get there hair done people come in just to hear the music. this is a great gig!!! and the owner is great and pays well and is fair. so i probably won't get screwed tomorrow with money!!!

jazz, rollingstones, beatles

so i'm back at the club that has triple booked, double booked and cheated me out of 50 bucks. i've heard him tell customers that he has live jazz. well his jazz bar is turning into a jersey middle aged pick up joint i think. and that spells trouble for 'jazz'. jazz doesn't go well with died blond hair and boob jobs. i'm not 'really' complaining about boob jobs!

i can tell as she walks up that this dizzy died blond middle age woman is probably not walking this way to ask us to play 'giant steps', or 'solar'. she's going to do one of two things. the first could be to tell me how great of a 'xylophone' player i am. sometimes if their super intelligent they pluralize xylophone and they say, 'hey nice xylophones'. that really makes me feel good. i explain that this is a vibraphone and the xylophone is wooden. they usually don't get it.

if they're not going to tell me what a great xylophone player i am then they'll usually ask us to liven things up a little or request music that was works extremely well with piano and vibes. tonights 'jazz' request was the 'rolling stones' or the 'beatles'.

so this little jazz room is heading down the tubes. i'm burnt out. is anyone else burnt out?? i talked with jimmy bruno today and he's burnt out.

my friend trixie said that clubs are always trying to screw you out of money. is that true? i guess i've been sheltered. i've had some messed up things happen to me however not with this frequency.

Friday, October 07, 2005

F$#%k Me Must be tatooed on my forehead

Yet another gig fiasco. Last night I played at a club where I was booked by an old great friend. 6:30 to 10:30. She comes up and says you guys can stop at 10. OK, we stop. Then she says to me so instead of 150 I'll give you guys 125 ok? Since you stopped early.

I have tons of stuff to put up so keep an eye out. Putting up an interesting podcast with a great recording engineer.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

1 club 3 groups and 1 club 2 goups tonight she shorts me money

Man I must be a glutten for punishment (or I need the money) cause I went back to the club that triple booked the gig, then double booked the next one and then TONIGHT she refused to pay me the full amount because I don't sing. Singers get more money she said. So she stiffed me 50 bucks.

I didn't even argue with her, just told her to pay the bass player 150 and give me what she thought was fair. She's a f^&%king idiot. I don't even get how someone can be that stupid.

I remember one gig I did, the people only booked half the club, soooo they put the house music on in the other half of the club. Get it? and open room, one side a jazz band and the other side is loud disco music. I told the guy who hired us that we couldn't play with the house music on. He said well we only rented half the room, if you don't play you don't get paid. I wanted to go but the bass player and drummer wanted to stay. So we'd played four hours of standards while disco was blairing from the other side of the room.

I know I'm getting off track but this is a funny story. Larry was playing a job and the band had to play "Here Comes the Bride" as the bride and groom came into the room and went to there seats. Larrys starts playing the tune. The band stops but he keeps going. Every is looking at him and the Bride and Groom are Cracking up.

He gets done playing the song, and he turns to the other band member and says "Hey what's so funny?" The other guy says "You were playing Happy Birthday". I think that's hysterical.

One time we started 10 minutes late for a gig. We even played 10 minutes over. However the owner shorted us money. We fought him and he refused. This was a beautiful Italian restaurant. The bass player had just had a baby, and I saw in the restaurant these beautiful wooden high chairs. So I slipped it behind my vibe case between me and the case and walked right in front of the club owner right by him and out the door. I felt soooooo frickin good giving that chair to the bass player. I hope that owner figured out what happen. ASSSSHOOLlee.

Alright who else has some good gig stories?