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RE: Improvisation Ears, Styles, and chops was RE: Loop Jams vs. Jazz Jams
Has anyone been to any of Cecil Taylor's improv clinics? ...just
curious. I'd like to hear about it. It seems like he has a really far
out approach to improv in jazz....funny, I remember Bradford Marsalis
calling Cecil's stuff self indulgent bullshit on the Ken Burns history
of jazz series. Had to laugh when I heard that....definitely shows the
differences of opinon when it comes to improvisational approaches.
From: samba - [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Sunday, February 27, 2005 2:01 PM
Subject: RE: Improvisation Ears, Styles, and chops was RE: Loop Jams vs.
The way I prefer to look at it ,being a able to play scales and
fast,doesn't add up to having chops,that sort of skill tends to lead to
called improv that is merely playing fast permutations of learned
over a given rhythmic,chordal framework.Which can of course be really
do. But if carpenters showed off their skills the way some musicians do
the nails would show and there'd be afuckofalotof 'em
The improv skills that I seldom hear discussed are Composition
skills,which include well develpoed sense of beginning/middle/end,the
ability to tell what is essential and what is embellishment , Daring,
problem solving( follows right on the heels of daring) effective use of
Space.The ability to work effectively with line,harmony,color,texture,
foreground/background,tension/resolution ,motivic development,dynamics,
timing,counterpoint,gesture etc. as creative tools. Most of these
compositional elements can be employed working with raw sound as well as
tuned instruments. An interesting approach to group improv can be to
in advance on a story,and then try to tell it .
It seems to me that improvisers who pay attention to each other should
able to play together regardless of differences in instruments, styles,
techniques and musical knowledge, by bringing big ears to the session
responding at some level to the essence of what each other is doing.