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Quicky question

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
What is the definition of a (sax playing) SIDESMAN when related to jazz and other types of music? Is it a session musician, an important but not lead musician, a hanger-on? I think I might be one in the band but I'm not sure.

Martin
 

losaavedra

Member
Messages
392
Location
Rojales, Spain
My impression is that the term 'Sidesman' (in a musical sense) refers to a well known, sometimes virtuoso, performer who isn't a regular player in the particular band he/she is a sidesman of, but joins in with it on a pre-arranged and/or occasional basis to create added publicity and audience interest. The sidesman may at the same time still have his/her own very successful band in which he/she is the leader. Examples include Monty Sunshine as sidesman in Acker Bilk's band or (say) Eric Clapton playing alongside B B King. Recordings often come out of these collaborations.

Beyond that I did find a reference to the term 'sidesman' as being the guy who ran along the side of the street with the collecting tin as a New Orleans jazz band passed by ... opportunity for a bit of further moonlighting there!

The origin of the term generally seems to be that of churchwarden's assistant.

I suppose in these PC times we should use the term 'sidesperson', hence all the laboured he/she nonsense above ... nah ... forget it!!!
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
A session musician is a very special animal. They can play their instrument impecably well in a variety of styles. They can sight read perfectly. In fact they can 'just do it' from scratch with very littoe prep or rehearsal.

I believe the late great Fank Sinatra was a 'one take' specialist so as a session musician working with him you get the music shortly before the recording session began and then you were straight in. One take and finished. Some of them earnt a small fortune.

I know a guy called Terry Lightfoot who has been a jazz musician since Adam was a lad. He's got a few interesting stories about session musicians which he shared with me. Got some of his old records. I had a few alto sax lessons from him when I first started.
 
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Pee Dee

Member
Messages
425
Location
Dorset
I know a guy called Terry Lightfoot who has been a jazz musician since Adam was a lad. He's got a few interesting stories about session musicians which he shared with me. Got some of his old records. I had a few alto sax lessons from him when I first started.
THE Terry Lightfoot, of trad jazz fame? Didn't he have his own band, great clarinetist - respect!
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,428
Location
Coulsdon, London/Surrey
Not sure there's a precise definition of a sideman, but I always interpreted it as anyone who was a member of a band - that is, apart from the leader. So it refers in effect to being in a side, as in a team. I've also seen it written in a narrower sense as an ordinary member of a band, rather than a featured soloist. But in no case as a hanger on, or someone who is sidelined! I think it's a bit of an outdated term now, isn't it?

Yes, like PeeDee, my reaction was, the Terry Lightfoot?
Colin
 

losaavedra

Member
Messages
392
Location
Rojales, Spain
Agree with Pete, that's what a a sideman is. A sidesman is, however, a bit more upmarket, at least in a musical (jazz mostly) sense and most people would recognize who they were as soon as they appeared on a stage. The two words are frequently used interchangeably which is a bit confusing. Pete, for instance, would be a sidesman rather than a sideman I think whereas I don't qualify as either!!!
 

RSPINDY

New Member
Messages
19
Ah, does that mean 'who is not the leader NOR a session player' or

1 'who is not the leader'

2 'is a session player'

?????

Doesn't bother me a as I will never be mistaken for either :w00t:
Me thinks that it means that it is one of those terms that is so quagmired in the misty pasts that, depending on your location, can have more than one meaning.
 
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