The Downbeat #1113 - The Phat Band Edition

But can they play a mean trumpet with plunger mute? - Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

Okay, I'm the worst at Downbeats. I can never find stuff that everyone else finds and I'm stuck trying to desperately come up with anything I can think of. We'll all be happy when Diana returns to her normal Thursday DB gig. This is, sadly, the best I've got today:

I love Jazz music, and I love metaphors. So I'm going to ask you to bear with me. There's this little Jazz band called Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, and they seriously rock. They have a crazy piece that features the trumpets, "Backrow Politics". Every time I hear it, I think of basketball. Beautiful basketball played in its ideal form. This sounds the way I hope to see our guys play the game.


Anyway, I don't know if it will happen this year, or what, but this is what I dream of. Imagine our starting five as the trumpeters, and the rest of the band as the bench. I love how the trumpeters play together, then enjoy each other doing their solos. I love how they play off each other. I love how they turn around and smile/joke around with the winds playing the backup hits. I love how they let the saxophones take over and show off a bit.

I love the feeling that every one of these guys is thinking: You kick butt. I kick butt. We all kick butt. We're the greatest freaking Jazz band in the world, and it's so much fun to be awesome.

It's what I hope we can see again from our guys playing in a Jazz uniform. I don't know if it will happen this year, but I think the team is on the right path that will take them there.

There's a terrific ode to Jeff Hornacek at Salt City Hoops. It's by David J. Smith, who has the distinction of being the best and nicest Jazz fan on the internet. As far as I can tell, he never gets mad at anyone else, and he never has anyone mad at him.

Reading this, it made me realize again how horrifyingly underrated Jeff Hornacek was in his career. There are Hall of Famers who weren't as good as Jeff.

We all know the NBA schedule has been released. This is my favorite reaction to the National TV schedule (from the Spurs beat writer in Sam Antonia):

It's times like this I wonder exactly what it would take for the right teams to be in the limelight they deserve. The Lakers are on national TV more than any other team this year, and yet they are not likely to be that good. It's about ratings, the Lakers have a big following, and OMG KOBE! ... I know.

But in a dream world, the teams playing on national TV would be the best teams. They will showcase the best basketball, the best players, the best everything. If you want to draw new fans into basketball, then show them beautiful basketball.

What would it take for the NBA to be able to do this? How could things change so that a Spurs vs. Pacers game is something fans get as excited about as they should?

I am a huge fan of various national sportswriters who cover the smaller market teams as often and with as much dedication as they do the big names. Zach Lowe, Kevin Arnovitz ... these guys are simply fantastic. Another one of my favorites is Matt Moore (@HPBasketball) of CBS Sports (and editor emeritus of True Hoops' Hardwood Paroxysm).

Here's how he described the Jazz's offseason:

Overall grade and accomplishments: B+

...

They didn't get suckered into bringing back Mo Williams who could have complicated their rotation. They didn't get suckered into filling in with veterans. They are giving their guys the opportunity to succeed and accumulating picks by renting out their space. There's a lot to like with that.

The Jazz may not be great next year, but they're sure as heck going to be interesting.

He gets it!

It is always so fun to see a national guy who understands our team. Go read the entire article. Heck, read what he wrote about other teams. If he's this insightful and aware of our team and our situation, you can make a reasonable guess that he is the same regarding other teams.

Early last year, I started working on this little video celebrating the C4. It was, for a wide variety of reasons, abandoned before I was really satisfied with it. I rediscovered it on my computer today, and it fits the theme of this year's Jazz team. So here it is ... unpolished, not really finished, and with lots of flaws.

I hope it's still enjoyable (mega bonus points if you know what the music is from ... don't give it away too fast jazzyman):


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