It’s been a tricky enterprise, figuring out how to present The Mood Merchants in a way that is easy to understand.
On the one hand, The Mood Merchants is a band, in much the same sense that other jazz bands are bands. Yes, it has several different possible formats, but so do most jazz bands. Yes, it really consists of a single leader and a pool of musicians to be drawn from according to the needs of the job, but most jazz bands actually operate in a similar way (even most of those that would prefer to think of themselves as a band of myth, with a stable set of members and a shared Kombi van).
On the other hand, the idea of a band is really too small to encompass everything that I’m offering. What I’m really offering is myself, as a professional musician with an unusually broad level of experience and an unusually diverse skill-set including good communication skills, the benefits of my contacts with potentially hundreds of great musicians in this great music city, and my capacity to arrange it all (in both the administrative and musical sense) into something that perfectly suits the needs of a particular client for a particular job.
I don’t think there’s a commonly-understood category that I can put all this into, though, so for now I’m marketing it as a band (because what else are potential clients going to be looking for, after all?) and if it means as I come across as a bandleader rather than a musical-director-at-large, then that’s completely fine. Not least because for much of the work that I expect to be doing, the two are basically the same thing. Lots of people just want to book a band, and that’s everything that they need. I’ll always be more than happy to help them on that basis, and I’ll never be pressuring anyone into putting on more of a production than they’re really up for.
But whether it’s something bigger, or smaller, or something a bit unusual, or whatever, I want people to know that what we do is not limited by the combinations that we have listed on the site (as great as they are), and I stand ready to listen to what they have in mind.