Gentleman Occupations: Bandleader
Another delightful part of the 1940s music industry was that your knowledge of scotch and cigars somehow played a very important role. Many bandleaders would spend more time studiously investigating these areas than they would playing or writing music.
Some bandleaders to familiarise yourself with include Count Basie (who led Count Basie and His Orchestra and worked extensively with Sinatra), Miles Davis (most notable for his quintet and sextet), John Coltrane, Duke Ellington and many others.
The wonder of many of these people was that they were exceptional on many different instruments. Where you or I see a simple trumpet-shaped piece of brass, Miles Davis saw an instrument. That is what set these gentlemen apart.
A little known fact about Brixley and I is that we started a Latin jazz band back in the 1960s. It ended conflict in the Middle East for a period and had the Pope renounce his faith, but all this good work was undone when we disbanded to safari in Africa. In fact, many notable band leaders either started out or finished in completely different professions.
Just remember that if you are looking to pursue a career leading a convocation of brass-toting gentleman, there are hardships faced when touring the world for years on end. You may not see eye-to-eye with everyone and you can get stressed or depressed. But don’t worry, The Gentleman is your online counseling service. Whatever is getting to you, wash it away your problems with a few tall glasses of your favourite Islay and a tightly-rolled cigar.
So get out your turntable, dust of the vinyl, take a seat on your chesterfield, light up a cigar, pour yourself a scotch, put on your dressing gown and get ready to pass the hours enjoying the fruits of one of the gentlemanliest of occupations: the bandleader.
Until next time,