Monday, January 13, 2014

Respect / Validation / Minding Your Own Business

Time for a quick rant...
I have had a handful of people (primarily session players) post on a variety of sites that perhaps I think a little too highly of myself. Let me clear the air to make a point.
I don't care if you are a critic, a musician or a bus driver because unless you approach your craft or occupation with the attitude that you have something to offer then you need to find something else to do.
Respect is earned. Critics deserve as much respect as artists. I don't do my job for validation or to seek fame or fortune because there is none left in the world of improvisational music.
I have had my share of "issues" with certain artists and with the exception of Nicholas Payton these have all in fact been settled behind closed doors. Granted we maintain our right to agree to disagree but we have reached the common ground of mutual respect.
You do not have to agree or like a particular opinion to respect it.
I sent a "friend request" to a bass player who decided to get a little too cute. My request was accepted with a bank-handed compliment for my thoughtful review while then being scolded for comments made about another artist who happened to have the integrity to seek me out to and to clear the air in private. We did and things have been cool for some time.
The actions of the bass player in question are a clear example that he considers my work as that from an amateur and respect is obviously no where to be found.
Do I think that I am Leonard Feather First Blood Part Two?
I am better than some that write for major publications and I am not even in the same league as others. I am known for my passion and for my commitment to not only the independent artist but to the smaller labels trying to get their tiny piece of the improvisational pie.
So what happened? I pulled the review. If you scream for diversity, acceptance and respect then you damn sure better be willing to give it.
I am under no professional obligation to provide free publicity and even a Julliard Professor that SHOULD know better than to attempt a bush league move should realize that. Call me out? Not smart. 
Never bite the hand that feeds you and never tug on Superman's cape.
Piss off a critic, any critic and it will never end well.