[Dixielandjazz] Improvisation

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sat Oct 16 12:58:19 PDT 2004

Larry wrote: (polite snip)

> You know improvisation produces a high that's very akin to a drug.  I go
> into an almost trance like state where I don't feel the horn or my fingers
> or know what's going on around me.  It's me and the sound and I'm somewhere
> else. It's like Alice going through the looking glass.   My body and horn
> are here but I'm not.  After a gig the adrenalin is up and I play hell going
> to sleep.  I'm up till three or four in the morning sometimes after a gig
> and I don't smoke , drink or use drugs.  I don't have to, Music does it.

Yes indeed, one of the greatest feelings in the world while it is going on.
Like being on automatic pilot. Miles Davis had advice about improv.
Something like:

"If while soloing, you consciously think of an idea, don't try to play it
because you'll F*** it up." Like Larry and many others including me, he
viewed imrpov as an subconscious happening in real time.

Dan, can you sing? To improv, just sing through the horn. Or since you are
playing brass bass, just play the bass line 4/4 on a solo. Nothing wrong
with that. Guys like Monk preferred that to melodic improv by the bass
player. Just walk that horn.


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