More on mixing jazz live, from Dan Pettit

Apr 1, 2003 12:00 PM


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On working with a broad range of acts at Yoshi’s…

"Since Yoshi’s is fairly top shelf for clubs, we don’t really sweat anything there. Whatever you need, we have. It's very rare that the P.A. needs any augmentation at this point in time…With our current booking agent, I don't see us delving into the pop market as much as previous booking agents have done, but we definitely do more of the smooth jazz, especially when the San Francisco Jazz Festival is fired up in the spring and the fall; we tend to diversify our program a little bit, we go a little more for the Hiroshimas, the Craig Chaquicos, but we still try and stay in the jazz vein.

On McCoy Tyner rehearsals…
"They’ve all worked together over the years, so it more or less becomes a catching up session," says Pettit. "It's very interesting to watch them sit around like a bunch of Jedis and go okay, this is what we're going to do, okay, on to the next tune. They’ve all been doing it 40, 50 years, so it's really second nature to them at this point. A lot of the songs are standards that they’ve used to playing for decades."

On the differences between the two ensembles and the two weeks…
"Because this particular residency was a kind of a tale of two cities, so to speak, the first week was very inconsistent, sonically speaking. As the week progressed Jack DeJohnette got more comfortable and was hitting the drums harder, and Bobby Hutcherson was hitting the vibes harder, and they were going more for the showmanship, and basically every set was different." Pettit's mixing goal the first week was to keep the piano heard, yet still sounding acoustic. The second week, however, was more set-and-forget, adjusting per musician’s requests. "Dynamically speaking, the trio was just very consistent, whereas the week before, one guy would just go off and start wailing on a song while another guy was just tucking back and play quieter."

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