I am just jotting down something outrageous that I heard last week, which was unfortunately not seen as outrageous. It has been nagging at me that I didn’t say something in the moment, and as a mere tag-on to Sasha Berliner’s must-read open letter to Ethan Iverson and the rest of the jazz patriarchy from a couple of days ago about her experiences of sexism in jazz and how men let themselves off the hook, I wanted to at least mention the most recent mini-absurdity of this kind that I happen to have seen. [Sasha Berliner's piece: http://www.sashaberlinermusic.com/political-and-social-commentary-1/2017/9/21/an-open-letter-to-ethan-iverson-and-the-rest-of-jazz-patriarchy]
An ensemble I am in at NEC was rehearsing a chart brought in by one of the musicians in the band. It was Pamela Watson’s “Ms. B.C.” After some time rehearsing, somebody in the group asked “Who is Pamela Watson?” The person who brought in the chart said that she is Bobby Watson’s wife, and then after a short pause said, “Yeah, I sometimes wonder if Bobby just wrote these things out and handed them to her for her to put her name on.” We were back on to rehearsing within moments (until, I would add, Jason Moran arrived late to our rehearsal/coaching due to a cancelled flight, saw we were working on a Pamela Watson chart and spoke, unprompted, about what she has meant to the scene and how she has been “writing her ass off”).