Applause and Ovations
A while back, writer Doug Ramsey had collected and written comments regarding excessive applause, bordering on the feeling of mandatory applause after all solos at jazz performances. The subject of ovations has now been brought into the picture. Ramsey picked up an article from last week, and I clipped a different one, albiet from the same newspaper on the same date.
As a performer, I can certainly say that it feels good to be appreciated, and am genuinely affected by applause and ovations. I also recognize that there are many performers out there that play "for the house," as we say -- doing and playing certain things simply to generate applause. There must be a "happy medium" somewhere in between, but in the end I feel that in any live music situation, each person should experience it as they wish -- after all, that's what they are paying for. In the words of Ray Brown, "If you wanna pat your feet, pat your feet. If you wanna clap your hands, clap your hands." As a side note, I disagree with the argument that applause covers the beginning of the next soloist -- this is simply part of going to hear live music, and performers who are sensitive to their audience respect this and simply wait. If we were listening to a political debate, or an oration of poetry, the next performer would logically wait until after the applause of the previous performer before beginning his/her own presentation -- I see little difference between these examples and a jazz performance. Please feel free to add to the discussion here in the comments section, on our Discussion Board, or over at Doug Ramsey's site, Rifftides.