[Dixielandjazz] Re: The Perfect Solo - Was Art

Mike Durham mikedurham_jazz at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 6 00:50:58 PST 2003

Well Steve, read your post and just applied Monk's method to tonight's gig. 
Had fingers poised over trumpet valves, but didn't play a note all night. 
Unlike Monk, I didn't sweat - just bled a bit where the audience and band 
members threw bar furniture at me. Pretentious? No, just Thelonius.

Mike D.

>From: Stephen Barbone <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
>Reply-To: barbonestreet at earthlink.net
>To: dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
>Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Re: The Perfect Solo - Was Art
>Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 14:49:56 -0500
> > From: "Bill Gunter" <jazzboard at hotmail.com>
> >
> >
> > I recall a thread on the subject of the "Perfect Solo."  The thesis was
> > offered that most solos are random noodling around for the best notes 
> > the most perfect solo would be one where the "essence" of the solo is
> > reduced to the ONE perfect note.  Then, since the resulting note would 
> > the most obvious one it would become a redundancy to actually play it 
> > as a result, the artist should simply show up for the performance but 
> > play his "note" out of respect for the intelligence of the audience who
> > would resent having the obvious flung in its face, then pack up his 
> > collect his gig pay and go home.
>Yes, Brilliant.
>Thelonious Monk was an example of this exact thesis. He wrote a song 
>wherein the melody
>line was one note, played with varied rhythmic pulse and chromatic chord 
>changes in the
>left hand. But that right hand melody was one note. In answer to those who 
>said his
>tunes were too complicated.
>Then fueled by that success in his search for "The Perfect Note" while in 
>Francisco, he played his solos for an entire set without striking any 
>notes. (He did
>back the sax and play the ensembles).
>When the set was over, he rose from the piano, went to the bar and said to 
>admirers, great set eh?
>Not sure they agreed, but he did indeed play Bill's "perfect note" on every 
>He kept his hands poised over the piano, brought them down as if to strike 
>that perfect
>note, but at the last moment did not do so. It took an enormous amount of 
>and he was bathed in sweat at set's end.
>Monk also left lots of space between notes, measures etc. So that the 
>listener, would
>fill in the blanks. And as we OKOMers often state simplicity and economy of 
>notes are
>often virtues.
>Steve Barbone
>PS Monk? Perhaps the first modern OKOMer? Much more of a Dixielander than a 
>Be Bopper.
>Dixielandjazz mailing list
>Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com

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