Friday, July 20, 2007

Sudie on the Soapbox - Friday, July 20

OK, I'm going to fly my "feminist" flag as well as my "musician" flag here. It's another edition of "Sudie on the soapbox" so grab a beer and some nachos...sit a spell...and listen to me rant.

I do loves me some Brian Setzer Orchestra. I do indeed. I think BSO is one of the best things going in the music brings jazz to the people in a fun and non-stuffy way. It really helps that Brian Setzer is a really good musician and has this uncanny knack for arranging and bringing good musicans together. He's a showman through and through. Plus, I like guys with tattoos up and down their arms.

However, as great a musician/arranger as he is, I have some problems.

Watch the clip first. (Yes, I'm reposting it because it's my blog and my rules so BITE me if you don't like it.)

Now...this band, in terms of big bands, KICKS IT. All the musicians know what they're doing and they have a lot of spirit and fire.

However, you can't tell me that there are women musicians out there that don't have the same feel and drive as these men do.

I often wonder how far we've progressed as a society...I mean, you see women drummers (Sheila E., Debra Dobkin, etc.) out there, and there are women guitarists, etc., etc. (sorry...channeling Yul Brynner in "The King and I" for a minute) But did any of them AUDITION for BSO? Were women instrumentalists even encouraged to audition?

This takes me to another level in the music many women succeed in jazz beyond the realm of vocals or piano? How many women are encouraged to play other instruments (sax, drums, trumpet or trombone)? I know there are a few, but it's a very small few...

I love singing jazz, don't get me wrong, but it just seems like if it weren't for singing, I'd NEVER get to perform the kind of music I love so much. I know plenty of good women drummers, reed players, guitarists, and brass players that are resigned to the fringe as far as jazz is considered.

So on to another sub-topic in the same vein re: BSO.

Nowadays, Setzer has two female backup singers, which adds another dimension to the group.

However, they're "hotties". I've seen tight dresses, pretty faces, cleavage abounding...and they can indeed SING.

Now...look at the orchestra again. While the men aren't bad looking...there are some that definitely won't make photo spreads in "GQ". One guy is outright HUGE (a trumpet player). It doesn't matter to me what body type these guys are, but it really seems unfair that the guys get to look practically any way Mother nature intended but the backup singers are "eye candy".

All I can say is this: Thank God they're also good at what they do, otherwise I'd REALLY be throwin' a fit.