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Improvisation Ears, Styles, and chops was RE: Loop Jams vs. JazzJams

-- random thoughts while procrastinating on doing my taxes --

It seems to me that improvisers who pay attention to each other 
should be able to play together regardless of differences in 
instruments, styles, techniques and musical knowledge, by bringing 
big ears to the session and responding at some level to the essence 
of what each other is doing.

IMO Big ears beat big chops any time, and big chops (and musical 
knowledge in the traditional sense) are a tool, not an end in 

I don't listen to much high energy techno any more, but when I did, I 
often imagined a high energy jazz saxophone improvisor wailing over 
the beats, with the DJ responding in turn to the sax. The same could 
be true of looping music.

I confess I have a few DAT's sitting around of complex looping 
sessions with horn playing friends in which I (or they) were 
processing their sound and looping synths on top and the whole thing 
turned to mud on listening -- big ears can be challenged when our 
machines are doing things so complex we can't pick them out,

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two 
opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the 
ability to function."

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Visit "Before the Fall -- Images of the World Trade Center" at 

                Emile Tobenfeld, Ph. D.
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