Reimagine Everything by Tony Miceli

It’s great how one word can change everything. Now this word comes along that for me somehow puts John Lennon in my mind. ‘Reimagine’. That's what we do. The Jost Project (TJP) plays rock music in a Jazz format. We’re doing the same thing every jazz musician has done before us. I hope nobody thinks this is a new thing! 

Here is Miles Davis reimagining music from the Disney Film, Cinderella.

Here is John Coltrane playing a song from Mary Poppins! 

TJP reimagines rock songs in a jazz format. That’s officially what we do. We are doing nothing new in theory. It’s amazing when a jazz club doesn’t understand this! But it’s on us to get our message out there. It's not easy either. It can be hard convincing Jazzaudiences they'll like our style of rock and the same for rock audiences, who seem to be afraid of Jazz. That's our goal -- to get more audiences into Jazz through the music they know and grew up with.

Young musicians are doing great stuff ‘reimagining’ tunes and I hope musicians do a lot of reimagining, and, from our recent history, it will pay off. 

We should all reimagine things! Why not reimagine your life, reimagine your relationship, reimagine your job. Take something that’s been around for a while, make it fresh, new and (oh yeah the other buzz word) make it "relevant" to today?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sweetest Sound You'll Ever Hear by Paul Jost

An engineer can have more influence on our music than anyone else in the band, and I'm hoping this blog will bring in ideas from both sides that can help us better understand each other and make great sound and vibes the norm rather than the exception.

I've been lucky to work with world class engineers live and in the studio, and the first thing I notice is a great attitude and an eagerness to give you what you need to get to the music.  Secondly, they've probably already checked you out live, or on CD, youtube, etc and have an understanding of what you're about.  Third is that those who sit at these massive boards with hundreds of knobs and infinite possibilities leave things pretty much alone until they discover a problem.  In the studio particularly, I see them first relying on mic placement and ways to capture the sound of the instrument (or person) as transparently as possible.  In a live setting I'm aware they don't have a "One size fits all" approach with acoustic bass appearing in the sub woofers like it might be treated in an electric band.  And the last thing, and one of the biggest, is they don't put themselves in a "producers" role.  Meaning they don't impose their vision of your music by altering your sound by fooling with reverbs, delays, EQ's, volumes etc, etc without having discussed things with you first.  Good engineers know that good musicians usually mix themselves as they go because they listen to each other.  

 

There are so many moving parts and responsibilities for an engineer who might be running both stage and house.  I think what we both need to do is first bring a positive attitude to the table, then be a little patient while we express ourselves as clearly as possible about exactly what it is we need.  If you have the opportunity, sit down together beforehand and go over the set list and discuss a few things you'd like to work toward.  And most of all, respect each other.  When it all comes together, I don't know anything more satisfying than the experience of sounding your best and knowing your engineer's got your back, front, and everything else covered!  It's really a team effort that's needed to bring it all home.

 

The right sound can inspire you, the music, and ultimately the listener, and that's really what it's all about.  So when you're introducing the players around you, be sure to acknowledge your engineer(s) from the stage too!  If they did it right, they just made the perfect frame to present your painting.

Image Matters by Sharla Feldscher

As the manager and publicist for The Jost Project (and for many performers and performing groups), I'm going to occasionally share tips that I hope will be helpful. 

Sometimes when I go to a gig, I look at the band on the stage and I wonder -- who dresses them? You may not even notice, but as a publicist, I do. I know that image matters. An artist is always selling himself. After all, as trite as this sounds, it's the "whole package". If we have a photo shoot and one of our guys wears jeans that are sloppy looking, I cringe! Um, tee shirts, too. (Okay, Tony -- feel free to chime in here!) Check photos of successful bands. Most of them, okay, not all of them, have a "look." Someone is planning it and knows it matters.

So, take a look in the mirror. Imagine this person on the stage, what impression would he (or she) present. Of course, I'm talking about you. I'm not saying you should be phony or something other than yourself, but come up with a look that feels comfortable to you and still looks good to your audience.

Got a thought? Feel free to share it with me .... Sharla Feldscher - sharla@sf-pr.com