“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Jazz Musicians Should be Worshipped as Gods and Given Everything in the World



Henry Warwick said...

I wouldn't say jazz, but I would say musicians who improvise. As one who does that, I can attest that something very special happens in that circumstance - it's an invitation to what Fripp calls "the good fairy" of music. When you get people who play together a lot and they work consistently together, a kind of "telepathy" evolves.

I used to work with a violinist and she and I would play back to back. We had to listen to each other and learn to anticipate cues and LISTEN to the music itself. My problem with a lot of jazz (and improv) is that it's a lot of playing, not much listening. The more the players listen the better they play.

That's why I like early Coltrane and not later Coltrane. His later stuff - he was just playing. It's nice if you want to go there with him, but there are other people in the band. And they're doing the same thing. So it's a bunch of people just "having at it" and I don't detect a lot of listening in late Coltrane. But I detect all kinds of listening in early Coltrane.

A prime example of creative or productive listening would be Trio by King Crimson. It was such a delicate piece that descended to the band, that Bruford couldn't bring himself to play anything. He just sat there with his sticks crossed his chest in respect of the music. His restraint garnered him a composition credit on the song.

When THAT happens - when everyone is SO in tune with the moment - when everyone in the band is cued into this cathectic aesthetic event - so much so that even not playing becomes playing - and the audience is held silent in a moment where the beautiful and the sublime unite - that's when you know you are experiencing real music, and proof that life has value for the living.


cgerrish said...

Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter, the 'patron' of Thelonious Monk, asked the jazz musicians she met for their 3 wishes. Nica compiled them into a book.


Schizostroller said...

Then there would be no more jazz as there would be nothing left for the improvisors to desire