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Marie is going to dig this.

Ok, here's the story. This video must be flipping out lots of people. David Friedman sent it to me to watch and he said maybe the vibesworkshop would get something out of this.

As soon as the video started I thought wow David has a great sense of humor this is some kind of joke.

I don't have a tv and have not had one for 15 years mainly because I think TV sucks bigtime. Maybe this was so heavy for me because I thought it was a joke. But man this moved me. I bet all you guys already know about it, but I thought I'd post. I think David is right, this just might be really inspiring for many of us.

Comments check out this link. 29 million views. talk about impacting the whole world.

i could never imagine posting something like this. but there's something incredibly special buried in this video.... i think.

i've watched this about 30 times tonight. just watching the surprise look on the hosts. the audience who were laughing at here.

i'm not one really for pop culture and i've never seen this show. but this has blown me away.

david felt there was something in it for us, and the more i watch it the more i agree.

anyway! this is old news for most of you guys i bet. i just thought i'd post.
Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli

Pap's had sent me this link through Facebook... Yes, this is a beautiful story, indeed.

I usually don't watch those shows (that we of course have in France), or just a few minutes for fun. I always wonder what is true, what is wrong, what was planned, disguised, etc, mainly because in most cases candidates are young and good looking.

On this case it's difference. The only think I wonder about is the estonishment of the jury. I don't believe no one organizing the show ever heard that lady sing before. Second, I think they should have put down a bit the volume of the audience screaming, to let us really hear her surprising voice. I believe those two points were part of the show (IMHO).

Now what cannot be wrong: this lady is not young, she's not pretty, she is not always very smart and subtle, but God she is so natural, and great and she sings beautifully, strongly and with nothing else than her heart!

It looks like a true fairy tale. It worked for the media as so many people watched it and are amazed by the story. That lady obviously trully deserved that moment of glory and recognition. She must have had very difficult moments in her life and has a beautiful talent!

Now I wonder what will happen to her in the future. Her daily life will surely change a lot, at least in the beginning.

We all know that not all the people who won the national lottery (total luck) or that kind of competition (luck AND talent) have not been fooled and have found happiness in the long run. Maybe will have news in the future...

Susan, that was beautiful,... You kicked ass to all those too good looking girls, too sure of themselves, to all those laughing people, thinking how ridiculous you looked. Don't let anybody fool you. Remain yourself. I wish you all the very best, that's all you deserve!! :o)


P.S.: She is not alone. We all know many, many people have talent, but just don't have the "proper look" to be truly recognized for their real value. Some people are making a lot of money on this story, that's for sure but at least it made one person happy for a moment, and gave back dignity to many others.

well i don´t know but i think the music buisness has changed a lot the last 30 years.we all can see and hear that.before this casting shows came up i always thought if someone is REALLY GOOD in what he´s doing he will make it matter if singer or instrumentalist.but specially for singers i think it changed.if i look at the cover of the first ella fitzgerald and louis armstrong record i see 2 people looking normal as everyone else.they just sat down and the photo was taken.the record is one of the most beautiful records ever least for me...but i wonder if mrs.fitzgerald could have done her career today also.and for me she was outstanding singer.but i doubt anyone would notice her today if she would have been in a casting show.sad but and your talent alone is not enough anymore.

at least the most important thing i think is if it hits the audience it´s matter if mrs.boyle can sing or matter if there are 10000 others who can sing better or not.she moved the audience in that moment (even it was planned by the media and the makers of the show) and that is the important aspect. luckily sometime´s you don´t need to be the perfect musician or singer to move people.ballads are best example for that.normally jazz is about playing fast,cooking,hot solo´s outside lines etc. i like that and it moves me.but if i hear a nice ballad sung or played which always makes me go cry it moves me a lot´s difficult to say for me in english but i hope you get the picture.

OK I know I'm going to get a world of grief for this, but ever since the public's fascination with, first, the Britain's Got Talent cell phone salesman-opera singer wannabe Paul Potts singing Nessen Dorma, followed six months later by the America's Got Talent Missouri insurance salesman and always tearful opera wannabe Neil E. Boyd also singing the same Nessen Dorma, I've wanted to bring some balance to the phenomenon of ordinary folks striking it big on these talent shows with fairly ordinary, karaoke-like performances. Bear with me, I do have a point to make.

When I saw the YouTube of Paul Potts two years ago, I noted that he gave a decent impression of an opera singer. Pitch wasn't always perfect, the phrasing was predictable and average. Vocal quality was barely average. There are currently hundreds, if not thousands, of music college students right now who can sing it better. What seemed to work in Mr. Potts favor was that he was viewed as just an ordinary citizen. Trust me, an aspiring student from the Royal Conservatory singing Nessen Dorma better would not have gotten past the first round. In addition, it was instantly clear from the slack-jawed faces of the audience that they were ignorant about opera, had never heard anything like Nessen Dorma. I thought at the time that what may have really registered with that group was just the hearing of Nessen Dorma for the first time, a piece of stunning emotional strength that you rarely find in pop music. So OK, it was Britain, where they seem to really go for the local-guy-makes-good kind of schmaltz, and I assumed it would be a one-time phenomenon.

Imagine my cynicism when the whole spectacle was replayed a season later on America's Got Talent. Some of the same judges even, who of course, never mentioned that some guy in England had sung the very same song and essentially was living out the same story! But why fight success. Here came Neal E. Boyd's version of Nessen Dorma, which he sang over and over, week after week in the competition. (Do these people know just the one song, I wondered?). Watching the American audience buy into the exact same gag, a mere six months after the British version was very unsettling to me. I mean, I've never been guilty of over-estimating the cultural level of the general public, but I thought, surely, some of these people would have remembered seeing the British version and be a little bit skeptical of supporting an American re-enactment. But, true to form, good old Neal with his signature silly hat, kept singing his Nessen Dorma version and breaking into tears each time he moved up in the competition, and again singing at a level somewhat below any promising Juilliard student. Needles to say, he won the $! million dollar prize and a contract to perform in Las Vegas (how perfect).

Now the latest twist on this. Susan Boyle, mid-aged local singer from a village in Scotland, singing a show tune. She has a decent voice for an amateur singer, who has gained her experience through church choir. But, does she compare to a trained singer? Hardly. She was in tune, a good first start. Her phrasing was stiff and predictable, her vibrato was always at the exact same speed lacking variety, there was little variation in the coloration of her voice as she worked her way through the song (a song that packed some emotional punch, though not on the level of Nessen Doma). It was a pleasant surprise to see a frumpy middle-aged lady sing decently. But, to go bananas over this is ridiculous. The audience revealed themselves to be easily rolled by the unexpected combination of dowdy looks contrasted with decent singing voice. The judges, who probably knew better but knowing a good thing when they saw it, went along and virtually declared her the next Julie Andrews, or name any established singer of your preference. It was also shameful of the judges and the audience to obviously ridicule Ms Boyle before she even sang. That was scandalous in my opinion.

Being an active reader of political and social blogs, I now find myself reading hundreds of gushing testimonials to Ms. Boyle that cause me to shake my head and wonder if we will ever have a more informed audience for our creative efforts. I read how highly intelligent people, professional writers, etc, say they have listened to the clip 30 times or more and still tear up at each repeat performance. And now even some of my fellow VW's are chiming in! Help!

Am I the guy out of step here? Am I missing something? Or is everyone else crazy? I just went back and watched it again. It didn't seem any different to me.

BTW: For anyone who would like to know more about Ms Boyle, I suggest you search out this YouTube: her audio track of Cry Me A River that she recorded for some charity CD. Listen to it without picturing her, just consider it as a recording of a singer, and ask yourself if you think the performance is top notch, worthy of world acclaim.

Gary B.

I hate those Idol/Got Talent shows. I feel that it is an insult to the music business. The underlying assumption of the show is that "they" (the makers of the show) have so much power as to "create stars". It has been sad to me that, through the sheepish complacency and lack of educated taste of the audience, they have been proven correct. They HAVE created stars. Mostly a schlocky bunch of pretty boys/girls who wouldn't know a C# if it stabbed them in the face. I'm all for amateurs getting their moment in the sun but lets call it what it is. KARAOKE

getting of the ranting box.....

Gary, I see your point. However, I had never seen any of these shows because I don't watch much TV. I guess I'm just a corny guy who gets a kick out of seeing a brow-beaten, unattractive working class woman feel she's coming closer to her life long dream. I've been living in Europe for quite a while but I guess that's the "americana" part of me that hasn't yet been exorcised by sophisticated urban culture.I also wasn't knocked out by her voice but since I hadn't seen the guy(s) before her I was moved.

man, if an unattractive english can sing and become famous,hmmmmmmmm what about an overweight vibe player from philly. I HAVE A DREEEEAAAAAMMMM!

Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli


If I could write like you I would have said the same thing.

I think this is just another example of mass manipulation.

In regard to whether or not we will ever have a more informed audience for our creative efforts. I always remember something Herb Pomeroy said to me: "My commitment is to the MUSIC. So in my order of priorities I first and foremost play for myself and for the musicians I'm playing with. If the audience is interested good for them"

When an audience gets a wake up call, such as when Keith Jarrett stood up to them at Umbria Jazz, it turns into a scandal. That's when you realize that most people are totally ignorant of what their place as an audience really is. You'll also be surprised to hear musicians' opinions on it.

I know I got a bit off track, but I think all these things are related...


well personally i didn't like the way keith treated that audience. well part of me thought it was cool. but you know what, he treated them as poorly as they treated him. well that doesn't help anyone. that's my VERY HUMBLE OPINION. NOT TRYING TO START TROUBLE.

as for susan boyle. i'm not commercial, have never been. and david friedman especially is not. she moved me big time, that's all i can say. if you don't think i have integrity, no one will certainly argue about friedman. that's one tough musical cat! i watched the video many many times. and i thanked david for sending it to me. maybe since we don't have tv's we saw something that we wouldn't have seen if we were saturated with tv land? :-/

**If the audience is interested good for them** one of the reasons why we make so little money. i understand and i've lived that way also. i have struggled and made little to no money my whole life. i've cleaned toilets, driven pizza delivery trucks, sold lots of dope, all to survive as an ARTEEEEST. i have as much integrity as anyone here, and i've ignored the audiences and even have walked off a few gigs because of the audience.

when i look back, i think, wow that was NOT the way to handle that. i don't feel proud of myself (except when i tell the stories to other musicians!)

i now think that art is about trying to engage people in your message.

on the other hand, a different approach from herb's stand is david liebman's stand. he told ME one time. 'i decided to educate the audience, teach them to like my music. show them what it was about. i wrote books and talked to them whenever i could. i didn't sacrifice the music and i didn't ignore the audience. i taught and i teach them.'

dave liebman makes a concious effort to keep the audience in mind. also he doesn't sell out and also his music is VERY diffucult for the average person. i have major respect for him and for that approach. he knew otherwise, don't expect anything from the audience in return. he told me that jazz is just not popular. most people don't like and he accepts that.

that's much hipper than herb's approach if i understand it correctly, which incidentally sounds like my approach for most of my life (herb's arproach)!

i admire joe locke. he considers the audience, he makes sure he looks sharp on stage, and when he's on stage, he engages the audience and they know he's having a ball. and they have fun with him. he does all that for the same reason as herb, so he can put the music first. in the last year i've become very close with joe and have gotten a very different perspective on many things. i've learned a lot from him.

i'm no good with audiences but i have enormous respect for people who can get their message through!!

miles ignored the audience and got away with it. mingus didn't get away with it as well as miles did he? from what i've heard and read mingus was horrible to everyone including the audience. i guess it's case by case.

i'll never be like joe, but i have enormous respect for both liebman and joe who have not ignored the audience and who are getting the music and the message through. if we all worked hard at getting the message through AND keeping our integrity more people would like jazz.

i HAVE ignored the audience my whole life. and i realize now that that's pretty stupid. ignoring the same people that i want to help me pay my bills. duh!!! no i shouldn't sell out to them, but i should not ignore them either.

i think that many of the GREAT jazz performers ARE great with audiences. that is the ones we see peforming in front of large audiences. i saw burton several times. i never thought it was music first and if you guys don't dig it, tough shit. i felt like someone warm and kind was up on stage with a message for us. he certainly wasn't wayne newton, but he convinced us that he cared about us.

i saw bobby mcferrin and chick. everybody wanted to hear bobby's pop tune. remember that one? bobby said very nicely, 'i'm playing with chick corea, that's a pop song, i'm sorry but we're not going to do it'. and i watched maybe 1/3 to half the audience walk out. that's cool, it wasn't what they wanted to hear.

i heard herbie with ron carter and al foster? at a casino in AC. packed, everyone came to hear his pop stuff. by the end of the set, there was just a handful of musicians. people didn't like the music and left. herbie didn't say anything, they just kept playing.

many ways and approaches. many of us, will try many approaches to the same problem during our lifetimes and many of us will come to many different conclusions as we get old.

many perspectives on this. how much money do you think tim reece made or makes playing with the stones? how about jamie haddad with paul simon?

these are tough issues that will haunt many of us for our careers. no write or wrong answers, just what we believe at any given moment and the choices we make in those moments. that's what defines us.

ok, here we go, huh guys?

Do you have that expression in English? Means everyone would like to get all types benefits from their work or so.

We often like to give the same people as example, don't we? Norbert Lucarain's approach is very special, maybe the closest from Dave Liebman, but very special.

When composing, he makes no compromise. His music is not always that easy to listen to. He doesn't sell a lot, and don't have that much gigs.

But once on stage he has a second gift: communication. He'll play the fool, drop his mallets on purpose when explaining a tune about love. Or before a tough piece with distortion on vibes, he presents it as the expression of hurting thoughts we sometimes have inside of us. And people will smile or laugh or have open eyes (and open ears) and they'll feel ready to listen him. He composed a tune in 17/16. He'll of course never say it to the audience, but if he feels they are ready, he sometimes manages to make them clap their hands on it. He first claps, the public will follow (bass and drum helping with a few marks) and he starts the tune... and for a little moment it bloody works!

It's only an example. Norbert gets to compose his specific music, and gets the respect of and give pleasure to the public. The only thing he's not getting is "the money of the butter" (not fair huh?). But man, your own music and sharing with the public, isn't that already great for an artist?


Tony wrote, "as for susan boyle. i'm not commercial, have never been. and david friedman especially is not. she moved me big time, that's all i can say."

Tony, I think you might be making it just slightly more complicated than it really is. Basically, Susan Boyle moves people on a visceral level. Period. And that's "a gift" to be able to do that. Period.

I agree with the argument that much of this was staged, and obviously Susan had to go through a series of auditions just to get in front of those judges, so it wasn't like nobody knew what was going to go down. And of course the exaggeration on the frumpiness helped accentuate the image, although I don't believe that was totally fabricated. And of course the judges were all bug-eyed and amazed since that's their job to act like that. Despite the fact that Susan isn't in the same league as a first year conservatory student, she has something that many or most of them will never have, and that is the innate ability to move people viscerally.

Gary is right that one will never go broke underestimating the taste of the public. But I also think that one of the reasons that this resonates so strongly with people is due to people feeling so beaten down by the last few years. Susan Boyle represents an image that an ordinary person can stand up with nothing but their naked voice and display courage in some manner - a theme that coincidentally runs through the blues as "a lone man and his guitar against the world." Okay, the never-been-kissed might be a fabrication, but so what? It's a metaphor; most of us have never been kissed by fame and fortune and never will be. I'm not saying that the cynics or the skeptics are cold people at all; it's different strokes for different folks based on our own personal experiences.

My disclaimer: I don't and have never watched American Idol, although I confess to rooting for Sanjaya while he was sticking it to the judges for that period of weeks he was in the national spotlight.

Point very well made, John. I especially agree with your comments about the audience strongly responding to the "everyman" getting a break into success, especially in these times when nothing seems to following the rules any more. And, btw, I got hooked on Idol a few seasons ago and now am fascinated by it. And I was a fan of Sanjaya, too. Truth is, he was a pretty decent singer, always in tune unlike most of the others. His main problem was that he sang in a sweet, light voice and just wasn't the right style for today's pop music where everything seems to build to a shouting finish (boy, what Judy Garland started just has never finished). Ah, well, at least he stayed in there long enough to shake the judges up for a while. I got a nice chuckle out of that. I drive my boyfriend nuts when we watch the show because as each one sings, I make comments, "that was out of tune, weak in the lower register, wrong interpretation, bad choice of song, etc.). Then I wait to see what the judges say. Sometimes they agree with my critique, other times they will say, "that was the best of the night!". Ah, well.

Now, a word about all you people who don't watch or maybe don't even own a TV. I don't care whether anyone watches Idol, of course. But, gosh, for me, TV is my window on the world. How can I keep up with politics (you're missing out if you haven't heard some of the speeches by President Obama), fashion, the entertainment world (my chosen career field), etc., without it? The movies on TV alone are worth it. I love movies and have a collection of about 500 DVD's of movies, and I love discovering yet another classic I somehow missed (cinema is the other great art form that America contributed to the world besides jazz). To me, not using television today is somewhat akin to not using a computer or a cellphone. It's a modern tool, like many others, to be used appropriately. Just my two cents worth.

oh man. so do you think they knew she was much better before she went on the stage???

i didn't think about the planned part. ok that's jive.

Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli

Your reflexion stunned me, and finally maked me think about that word I so often get back to when trying to understand how things run...

If you don't watch TV at all, and still live in a country where nearly every one does, you are way out of the world (I mean out of this type of world). And when such kind of show comes to your eyes, you are too much surprised and can't have the necessary detachment, and sense of reality.

Then on the opposite if your life "is" TV, idols, and shows of that type, like it can happen for instance to teenagers, you are too much in that kind of stuffs, and as well blinded by them. And you believe the same in those moved faces of the jury you see.

So where can one find the closest truth? I guess in having a TV, still watching it with wisdom and care.

Here comes that same old key word again: Balance...


P.S.: Think about it Tony, maybe you should finally get that TV? :o)

Tony, here's another thought about this. Herb played a lot of his gigs in local venues, not necessarily for audiences coming specifically to see Herb. So I understand why he would adopt the perspective of just be true to the music and let the listeners either get on board or not, as they will. Leibman, on the other hand, like myself, now play for audiences who come to see us play, who know something about our music, and are paying attention. I think most all of the established players grow to have a major focus on reaching the audience. The first challenge is to win over your peers, usually accomplished in the first decade of being a professional player. Then one turns to the greater challenge: how to connect with the 95% of the audience who are not musicians. And don't be fooled by Miles or Keith. In their eccentric ways, they were/are also focused on the audience. Miles created a persona so powerful that people flocked to his gigs and felt they were in the presence of greatness, even if they didn't quite understand what he was doing. And he was fantastic. Keith, with whom I played in concert and on record, and who I shared gigs with a lot over a period of several years, was very influenced by Miles from the time he worked with Miles. I personally would never go nuts on an audience the way Keith occasionally does. But it is part of his personal way of connecting with them. Similar to legendary opera divas, Keith carries on his way, and a lot of people respond and pay attention to what he does. Some of us take a more benevolent approach to bringing in our audience, others are more aggressive. But that's what it is all about.

It all comes down to who you are sending you message to: your pals, the musicians. Or, the rest of the world that's out there. Some go on beyond the simple human race and say they play for the ear of God. Good luck with that.

i play in herb's world. and i do understand that philosophy. they are not coming really to here me play. in those situations i do ignore the audience as well.

but all in all, we should be working on ways to connect to them. we can trash them, i do all the time. every sunday when they come up on my brunch gig and say, 'nice xylophoneS'. i hate them.

i admire herb's and gustavo's dedication. i get it. figured it was a good idea to point out the other side.

yeah most of us don't do gigs like you and dave.

interesting, so keith's way is actually a way to reach the audience. it's all theatre in the end. i've always thought that. especially on those big stages. and the way he moves around and makes all those noises, that has paid off for him i would think, even if that wasn't his intention.

interesting stuff.

Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli

Gary, that's too funny, I can't stop laughing... (I mean no offense to anybody) I never understood that one, but I guess it's "each to their own" as they say.

Talking about Keith, I was at the Carnegie Hall concert (the one that later came out on CD). That was probably the most special concert I've ever been to. It was packed, people were hanging from the balconies. The first half of the concert must have been pretty out for some ears I would imagine. Keith played about five encores that night. I'd never seen him do that before. Whenever he played it was dead quite. I even became self conscious of my breathing. It was that quite. I don't know what Carnegie Hall's capacity is, but I would imagine it seats about 3000 people. Talk about an audience with a purpose.

Tony, another thing to consider about both Gary and Liebman is that they are both GREAT educators and really know how to communicate (not just musically). I've seen Lieb three times leading his band. He was always cut and dry, not rude, but simply announced some tunes and introduced the musicians, that's it. Those could have been exceptions, who knows...
However, in a concert/clinic he had a complete different approach, understandably.


There are different aspects on this story:

- The phenomena: the media need audience, so they surely "created" this new story giving that lady her moment of glory. And it worked. I too regret the excessive audience reactions (in both ways).

- The human story: this is surely true, nice, so moving. I don’t think it’s that naïve to be moved by those few beautiful minutes for that person. I’m just a bit worried about her future.

- Her voice: I only have my amateur ears, but I first thought she sang good, and heartily, but that her vibrato was a bit "too much". It's not because you talked about it Gary, or to try and justify myself: that was my honest first opinion.

That version of Cry me a River you suggested was exactly what I was expecting, to really listen to her. From your words, I was expecting a mediocre interpretation. But I was positively surprised and I personally enjoyed it (once more with my amateur ears). Though... that was 10 years ago. Her vibrato sounds much better to me there, but might have changed during those years.

I think that all the reactions from this post are right: we are all worried about "mass easy shows", dangerous for true music, and giving too high hopes and too fast fame. Though being moved by that human moment for that lady looks natural to me.

Still I realized I only listened to her as that ordinary lady, and not as the professional she is not. It’s the human being that truly moved, more than purely her technical performance. You are right Gary her voice is not worthy a world acclaim, but for me a very nice one, for the amateur she is. My 2 cents. :o)

Gary - Oh, man was I glad to hear you say this! The Susan Boyle thing troubled me a lot. So many people sent me that clip. I was like....why? She is not a 'great' singer by any stretch, and the song she sings is full of the kind of melodramatic sentimentality that makes me pretty uncomfortable. I mean, when you think of James Taylor or Diana Krall, Tony Bennett, etc.....uh, please. But as they say "there is no accounting for taste." And music is one of those things that is so subjective that, if it does move someone, then I think it IS quite valid. So I count on certain artists (like yourself) to keep it real! To remind us "how good good can be" (as I've heard Pat say). I read an interview with Herbie a few years ago, and he summed up everything by saying "It is about Excellence." I have not stopped thinking about this since. As Duke said, there are only 2 types of music, right?

A lot of what sells Susan Boyle is her "backstory"- that's what all the marketeers want. But what got to me was watching Simon. I heard people say it was amazing watching his face as her music reached and moved him. What I saw, was a conniving music businessman, who realized the groundswell that was happening in the moment, and went right along with what would be another chance for him to make millions. IMHO, that cat is the Rush Limbaugh of status-quo culture.

In the old days, we had record companies and radio who were the gatekeepers of taste - and a lot of bad stuff never made it through. We got Satchmo, Elvis, Aretha, Paul Simon, Doobie Brothers, Eagles, etc. as the popular norm. Now we have Simon Cowell and YouTube bringing us artists. I think about how some of my favorite singers would do on Amer. Idol - like Neil Young or Willie Nelson. Would they laugh these guys right off the stage? Essentially, it's just the Gong Show, but with a sometimes frightening sense of self-importance.

interesting what this generated here.

yep i don't even have a tv, so i don't even know the show.

i was totally taken away by this woman who said she had never been kissed (i know why) who got up there and sang a pretty song and did a really good job. it reminded me of that disney movie with the ogre in it.

hmm, david and i stepped into pop culture and look what happened! i should have realized that everybody is blogging about her. i think people see that and think, hmmm i have a chance. hey maybe that's what i saw!!! ;-)

now as for normal people getting famous. well that's pop music, this is not a show about art it's about pop music and pop culture and there the first rule is not talent.

from my perspective it's a valid show for pop music. pop singers are pretty much just that, decent talent with usually the quality of stunning looks and bodies. so this woman coming out ahead is in a way incredible.

i guess if david and i watched tv we would have seen through this, but in our naive ways i think this was pretty cool.

thinking more... you know this is just a glorified talent show. everything else is blown out of proportion with the digital age so why not this, huh.

ok, well sorry for being naive, however she really moved me, i can't deny that.

Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli

To me, I didn't even realize that people were even taking her seriously as a musician. Obviously, she is now being looked at as a potential cash cow... But I had no idea that the interest and popularity was because she was being considered a great musician.

I thought that this was all just a feel-good/never-judge-a-book-by-it's-cover moral thing. It just seemed outrageous how she was ridiculed, laughed at by judges and audience (probably rightly so after her hip swiveling), had countless eyes rolled in her direction, extremely audible corporate sighs, and many fingers pointed, before anybody heard what she had to offer. To me it was 'touching' as a litmus test of how superficial popular culture really is. That crowd is what I imagine in the Roman Colosseum... those who are singing your praises one minute can be ruthlessly shouting 'off with your head' the next (and vice versa).

That was the whole 'touching' part for me. Not that she was a brilliant professional singer (although she does seem to have what most people consider to be a 'good voice')... but that she actually said that she thought she had never had any success because no one ever gave her the chance and the audience again didn't give her a chance.

I guess my conclusion is that you're all right! (How's that for non-confrontational? hehe)


that's so well put i think. dude you are very articulate! that's exactly what i wanted to say but couldn't throughout all these posts!!

i was moved by her. a sort of cinderella story.

thanks man!

Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli

This is interesting. I had to go back and watch it again to see if I felt off-base.

I guess I was just not so surprised by her singing. She seems like a good amateur singer, and I would have voted Yes for her if I was on the panel. But I'm not sure her singing is worthy of the attention, except for the Cinderella Story part. That said, context is everything. The whole event is amazing in that light, and why it has become so popular. And even though she had the ability to touch so many people (which is certainly a gift), I wish more people would be clear to separate her performance from what great singing is often about.....or, is this what great singing is about?...I'm not sure...could just be my own preferences.

here's a bunch of vibe players talking about american idol, or whatever it's called.

on my end, i don't know, she just moved me and that's that.

you know what i watched that movie napolean dynamite probably about 60 times at least. it just got me for some reason. and every night i would watch it before i went to bed for a few months. it just moved me. so i'm not sure why.

there are a lot of musicians who aren't technically good on the instrument but they move me. i'm afraid to mention any of them because i'll get in more hot water than i am already with susan boyle.

Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli

guys like john prine and steve earle. i don't sense that they're good players or even singers but when i listen i'm moved by them.

man muddy waters, i think he probably wasn't a technically great guitar player, but damn that sounds good. i'm sure his sense of harmony and theory lacked.

that makes me think, by jazz standards is keith emerson a good piano player?

so this whole discussion brings me to many many questions about music, popular culture, what's good what isn't, what's valid, what's artistic. quality, that's it, what's quality.

i guess i'll get 'zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance' and read that again!

Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli

Oh yeah, technical ability isn't always it - look at all the great country and blues singers. How about Bob Dylan, he's a total icon. But many of these singers have a very distinct thing happening.

Man, it is not uncool at all to be moved by Susan Boyle. I loved her ability to stand-up there and show all those people who pre-judged her. That was totally gratifying. I am a firm believer in not judging a book by its cover when it comes to music. I was just a little surprised by the immense reaction from the media about her level of talent. And Simon being a fake - I've seen him bash the crap out of MUCH better singers.

Tony, I was thinking... if you watched more American Idol (which I do not recommend) you wouldn't have reacted the same way!

hmmm, i agree and figured that was the case. we talk about getting a tv but haven't done anything about it yet!

Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli

I have seen this video and I am not surprised by the reaction it has got all round the world people are sucked in totally by these crap shows who are destroying the real talent that is out there, sure she had something people liked after they sniggered at her before she performed, but it was Simon Cowell's expresion said it all, it was another few million in the bank for him the manipulative bloodsucking B that he is, I hate these shows I dont watch them but some of my family do so I can't avoid hearing the stories.
On a funnier note I was playing at a show last year and this mother comes up with her 5yr old kid and says to me "will you please tell him you are not Simon Cowell" jesus I could have stood on him! It has been said to me on more than one occasion,grrrrrr.
Anyway I would love to see these shows banned but it wont happen not while we have so many gullible peolple out there. Thought I'd get that off my chest feel better now.

how do you really feel about it? be honest. don't hold back. :-)

Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli

Ok here's what happens on these shows I know because my wife's cousin got through to the final stages with a girl band, were signed by one of the judges who has signed and managed Westlife and Boyzone two boybands who have been very successful in this side of the world. So all is set they are lined up for their first tour around Europe the do their first gig in Ireland huge marketing tv radio etc, then lo and behold they are dropped like a sack of potatoes no notice given just dropped, she was very upset to say put it mildly but had no legal representation, this guy is a long time doing this kind of stuff knows the ropes very well so he knew how to get them to sign his contract with them ending up have no say on the matter, she was 18 at the time about 5 yrs ago very inexperienced and naive I suppose. This is only one example of these people use and abuse the control they have over peoples lives, its a tough world out there for people with so called talent but dont know how the game works, anyway these shows are so fixed they know who is going to win and in the Susan Boyle situation do'nt tell me they had'nt heard her sing before that video was made its so false and the audience and people who watch these shows are totally sucked in by their kneiving schemes and rigged performances. I'll bet Susan Boyle has already signed some kind of contract if I know Simon Cowell he is seeing a great opportunity to get a few more million into his bank account this people just sicken me but as I said earlier its easy to suck people in I guess and the the more they get sucked in the more money these people make.
This is my final say on this matter. crap crap crap.

ps Tony I can put your name in for one of those shows over here if you want! get yourself all over youtube you up for it?

Hi John, it's possible you have a small misperception that I myself had at one time. Simon Cowell is not an owner but a contracted employee of American Idol, as well as the several other similar shows that are the brainchild of, and produced, by two people: a guy named Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe, who hosts So You Think You Can Dance. Being as there are two Simons involved, the confusion is easy to understand. Arguably, Cowell is the most important among the judges on Idol, but he doesn't own the show. He's either getting a humongous salary or a salary plus some percentage, but I doubt he makes extra money specifically because of any judging decisions he makes. In fact, his contract for Idol is up for renewal after this year and there is already talk about whether he will re-sign.

you know about all this!!

Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli

I believe we are, by nature, voyeurs and novelty seekers. We like to experience the odd, grotesque, amazing and so on. Susan Boyle gives the brain what seems to be a contradiction. Homely and talented she presents herself as very unusual, even freakish, and we like the feeling of observing something like that. I don't believe her choice of music had anything to do with reaction from the audience. She satisfies our desire for stimulation and novelty. Some even believe they get a buzz from it. Stravinsky accomplished something similar when he premiered "Rite of Spring." In that case however he managed to over stimulate the audience to the point of agitation and violence. Stravinsky managed to get into the heads of the audience in such a way that he gave them something so novel, so stimulating, that they could not make sense of it. Today though "Rite of Spring" is played to appreciative audiences without anyone inciting a riot. I believe our desire for novelty is hard wired and some may have more of it than others. Cartoon artists have known this about us and have capitalized on it years. The reaction to Susan Boyle, like "Rite of Spring" will change as we get "used" to it. The quality of the creation will separate the two very quickly. "Rite of Spring" is a masterpiece. Susan is an above average singer in a freakish package. I also believe that Susan's appeal will diminish quickly. Already she has had the "makeover" and as she becomes more normal looking she will also sound more ordinary in performance. Anyway...That's what I think...

well put!!

Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli

Hi Gary thanks for your comments on this I know nothing of his involvements in American Idol I am referring to the British shows Cowell is involved in he is a major player outside of being a judge check this link out and see who he has signed out these shows with his company Syco and tell me he is not making anything out of this. HE IS REPORTED TO HAVE PAID OVER 21 MILLION IN TAXES FOR ONE YEAR ALONE (Upon his appearance on Top Gear, it was revealed that Cowell pays more than £21.7m per year in income tax, suggesting that his taxable income is over £54.25m per year with income tax at the time approximately 40%.[23][24] (NB: UK Income Tax 40% for earnings over £34,600). Man this topic has caused a lot of controversary.

Any chance your coming to Ireland soon? I see Stefon is playing in Dublin next week at the Bray Jazz Festival Caught your last gig at Cork Jazz Festival with Richard Galliano really enjoyed that Cheers Gary great to see your comments on the site keep it coming.

i'm kind of middle aged and dumpy. get me on that show, i'll come out and play a beautiful rendition of 'memories' from cats.

Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli

It is what it is. I have seen the Susan Boyle video and admired her courage. Plus she sang the Les Miz song very well. She was a rather frumpy woman who had courage to go out there facing adversity and snickering from the judges and audience alike. Whether she will be able to parlay her 15 minutes of fame into a bona fide career remains to be seen. Now I hear the latest sensation is some 12 year-old Iranian kid on YouTube on the same show Susan Boyle was on.

I do resent the current crop of shows of this ilk. Some of the judges, such as Simon who the fuck is this guy? What has he done in the music business of merit that makes him worthy of passing judgement on others? And Paula Abdul? She had her 15 minutes years ago! Most of the time she appears to be far outside this solar system. I agree with the others who said that Cowell had the look of dollar signs when Susan began to sing. He is such a carbuncle on the ass of the music business, it's not even funny. I admit to following the show for one season because a former friend/colleague was into it and I was curious to see what all the ballyhoo was about. I no longer pay that, or any other shows of this type any mind.

I'm old enough to go back to the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour on television and that's a show that started the careers of Gladys Knight, Irene Cara of "Fame" and a very fine singer that I had worked with years ago, Karen Wyman. The viewing audience voted for their favorites by sending in post cards to the show. People like Gladys Knight will always be remembered, long after the Kelly Clarksons, Carrie Underwoods, et. al. are forever erased from our memories.