[Dixielandjazz] Classical Improvisation

Richard Broadie rbroadie at dc.rr.com
Tue Jan 25 13:28:48 PST 2005

While some of the early jazz players were clasically trained players who 
could read well, there were many who fed their families playing jazz for 50 
years that couldn't read a note.  I think I had my union card for 20 years 
before I could began to read music at a professional level.  Of course I 
knew what changes were and how to work them.  Just had problems if in and 
out choruses were complex arrangements.  To this day, 95% of my gigs don't 
use a single note of written music.  To me, THE essential element of 
performing jazz music is improvisation.  That is not to say that all 
improvisation is jazz.  Do we need to walk this path again?

When EVERY note is written, is the music jazz at all?

A profound question to kick around.  Go at it, gang!   Dick

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: "DJML" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 1:11 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Classical Improvisation

> Great thoughts, Charlie & Ric.
> I just want to add that extensive use of improv was not limited to 
> European
> Classical Music. It also existed and still exists today in Persian 
> (Iranian)
> music as well as Indian Music. John Coltrane and others were very 
> interested
> in studying with Ravi Shankar for both scale knowledge and the manner in
> which Shankar improvised.
> Jazz improv? Came on the scene quite late in the history of music.
> Funny though, jazz seems to be progressing along the historical line of
> Classical. First lots of improv, then less, and now on the cutting edge, 
> at
> those little nook and cranny jazz clubs in NYC, you find 100% reliance on
> written jazz and no room to improvise at all.
> One does need to be a MASTER of the axe and sight read like a demon to get
> anywhere near it.
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone
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