Original Music Composition by Rex Bell – Recorded with Jazz Express
All professional musicians know that you must keep the band gigging to keep them together. This is true in all genres: reggae, cover band doing heavy metal, funk, rhythm and blues, Latin salsa, jazz fusion, etc.
A few years ago, I played at JB’s Café in Concord, CA. We needed a contemporary & traditional jazz music for a French restaurant. So I put together local studio musicians (Jazz Express – Rex Bell, guitar, Jeremy Cohen, bass, Eric Thompson, drums, and Greg Rahn, keyboards) who showed up to gig and read music charts from the most common professional book used by all gigging musicians known as “ The Fake Book.” They have fake books for all C instruments like guitar and piano, all Bb instruments like Trumpet or Tenor sax and Eb book for Alto Sax or Baritone Sax.
As the band leader, I would call out a tune like Chick Corea or Miles Davis and the musicians would sight read the music as we took turns soloing. BMI & ASCAP are the two companies that monitor all music sales for all music sold anywhere on the planet. Both BMI and ASCAP have teams that will walk into bars, restaurants, coffee shops and other venues unannounced and measure square footage of the establishment and then charge the owner a monthly royalty fee for all copyrighted music being played whether you have a live band, a disc jockey, a juke box or even a CD player.
We had this steady Friday night gig exploring our talents, getting paid and getting a free French meal of our choice. As the old adage goes – all good things must end. The restaurant owner, one day said here’s your last check because a crew from BMI told him unless my music group played only our original music, we would have to pay monthly copyright fees.
So, to keep our gig, I told each musician to compose 7 songs, “This Song Is For You” is one of the 28 original compositions our group composed.
Always take advantage of learning music theory from a professional and learn to reading music because it allows you to go much further with your musical career and ambitions.