Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The CWA of Dr. Z. Smith: Episode #101: Skylark

“How many attempt on my life have there been today, Jeeves?”
  “None, Sir.”
   “Then It's a good day in my book.”
    “It's only Eight-Of-The-Clock in the morning, Sir, I wouldn't celebrate just yet.” 
-=fig. 637: newspaper advertisement=-

-=fig. 638: the turn out=-
“I was expecting a bigger turnout.” Dr. Smith said.
  “Your reputation preceded you.” Capt. Brown said, ignoring the glare he received.
 “Since this is the bare minimum number of people for what I had in mind–” Dr. Smith said “–You're all hired. I must warn you, however, we will be playing Jazz.”
 “That beatnik music?” Asked Mary ‘Honeylips’ Davis, Mezzo-Soprano, nervously. Beatniks…were an unknown quantity, and therefore something assumed by the general public to be inappropriate for young ears.
  “I be in.” Growled Brigadier ‘Satchmo’ Black, Trumpet.
  “It'll be fun dear,” assured Robert ‘Bobby’ Davis, Guitar/Banjo.
  “I'm in.” Declared John ‘Johnny’ Davis, Upright bass, Cello. From what he'd heard Jazz sounded a lot more interesting than Classical Operas.
  “I've been in since Russia.” Said Capt. James ‘Jimmy Brown Eyes’ Brown, Basso Voce, Drums. He had picked his nickname all by himself.
  “Good.” Said Doctor Zachary ‘Dr. Smith’ Smith, Trumpet, Band leader.  “You won't get paid until we actually find someplace to perform, but before then we'll need to practice.”

-=fig. 639: dr. smith's music room=-
Dr. Smith's music room was a large, high-ceilinged room made of wood, there was a square stage with a piano and a fireplace. In front of the stage was a table with some food. Next to the stage was a sitting area, with comfortable chairs. And a couch.
“Woah.” Was all Johnny Davis could say. Dr. Smith's rooms were ever so slightly overwhelming.
 “Is all of your house like this?” Asked Mary.
  “Pretty much.” Answered Dr. Smith. “Okay James–”
  “Jimmy Brown-Eyes.”
    “I'm not calling you that.”
    “Please? PLEASE PLEASE please?” Pleaded Capt. ‘Jimmy Brown-Eyes’ Brown.
 Dr. Smith looked up into Capt. Brown's pitiful face.
  He sighed.
  “Fine.” He said. “I want Jimmy Brown-Eyes in the back there, on the drums, Jeeves–” Jeeves cut him off. “Sir? A word?”
  Dr. Smith stared. But Jeeves was a robot, he couldn't possibly want a–“I'd like my Jazz Name to be Reggie Bones ¹. Sir.”
   “Fine!” Dr. Smith said, throwing up his hands. “Reggie Bones! To the Piano! Johnny Davis, your Bass! Bobby Davis, over there! Ms. Honeylips, here are the lyrics, And Satchmo Black, to me!”

-=fig. 640: rehearsal=-
The Guitar is a weird instrument, not commonly used in Jazz, more-so the banjo. Dr. Smith made a mental note to see what else Robert ‘Bobby’ Davis could play.
 Something was wrong.
 “Stop, Stop stop.” Dr. Smith said. “Jeeves, you're playing like a robot.”
   “Sir–” Jeeves lowered his voice, “–I am a robot.”
  “Well…Play more like Reggie Bones, less like Jeeves. How would a man with an awesome name like Reggie Bones tickle the ivories?”
  That seemed to do it.
Jimmy Brown-Eyes started things off with a hi-hat beat,  Johnny Davis came in with a heavy baseline,  then Dr. Smith and Satchmo Black pealed in with a swinging note. Reggie Bones picked up the beat with a boogieing melody, which Bobby Davis countered on the guitar. Then Mary ‘Honeylips’ Davis realized where there were in the song and started singing.
Together they played a beautiful set.
 Afterwards Jimmy Brown-Eyes Pulled Dr. Smith aside.
  “Zachary, you need a cool Jazz name.”
   “James–Jimmy, I mean, I don't even use my first name. I don't think I could handle a nickname.”
   “No no no, what I mean is…You know how only four people turned up today? Why do you think that is?”
  “…there aren't that many out-of-work chamber musicians?”
  “No. It's because the public knows the name ‘Doctor Smith’, and they don't like it.”
   “Because they think you're a rich jerk.  And if you put ‘Doctor Smith and whatever the name of the band is’ up on a marquee, no one will come.”
    “Okay. Umm…Doc Fedora.”
      “And the Fedorettes.”
Capt. Brown's mouth opened and closed a few times.
     “Zachary…The -ette suffix is reserved for girls. We are not girls.”
      “Too bad!” Said Dr. Smith enjoying himself and grinning widely. “I'm the band leader, and I say the name of the band is Fedora and the Fedorettes. And I'm Doc Fedora.”

-=fig. 641: plastered all over town=-

¹After Reginald Jeeves, the full name of the P.G. Wodehouse character, and Bones, because Piano keys are made of Ivory {Technically not a bone, but Reggie Dentin doesn't sound half as cool.}