That is to say, they rehearse, play arrangements, include in their repertoire at least 5 tunes which are not in the original “Real Book”, and have at minimum two members who know one another well.
Not So Big Bands
Although the soloists get most of the the spotlight, bandleaders deserve a lot of credit. Most fans don’t think about it, but fifteen or seventeen jazz musicians don’t just casually get together and jam head arrangements. Leading a band requires a TON of management skill and dedication. Although things have gotten easier since heroin is not all the rage it used to be, leading more than a quartet of straight musicians is a challenge that would make most Wharton MBAs go back for a Fine Arts degree. Here are some for the Delaware Valley’s established leaders :
* Thanks to Bruce Greenwald for his knowledge of this particular scene (as well as his news on the Western suburban goings-on !!)