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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Who Needs A Crabby Musician?


Since moving to Monmouth County in early 2010, I've attended over a dozen uniformly excellent free jazz concerts at the Manalapan public library. Today's show featured vocalist Carol Fredette, supported by an exceptional trio led by pianist Dave LaLama. Each time I sit there enthralled by world class musicians, the same thought crosses my mind - Why are there empty seats?

And, both today and at the last show I attended (the remarkable Marlene Ver Planck), following lukewarm audience responses to some songs not as widely known, I've been a little annoyed on behalf of these wonderful musicians. Silly as that is, today my churlish brain also began silently chastising the audience: How often do you people get to hear something this extraordinary for nothing? Come on. 

Much as it can get to me, when people treat my music as auditory wallpaper, it's understandable - with no musical notoriety no one is otherwise paying to see me. But Carol Fredette is performing at the Iridium in July (check out her website); Ver Planck plays concerts worldwide. It's free, people - lean in, clap after a soloist takes a turn, give the less familiar tunes the same attention you do "The Way You Look Tonight", please?

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