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1 kreyagg  Mon, Oct 10, 2011 5:31:14pm

I have listened to enough episodes of "Piano Jazz" to be pretty sure that you have this Free Will and Jazz thing exactly backwards.
These performances can vary based on the musicians mood, the reaction of the audiences and/or band mates even the relative humidity or temperature of the room. Surely you don't mean to suggest that these guys, as talented as they are, can take all of these factors into account consciously?

2 Bob Levin  Mon, Oct 10, 2011 7:46:10pm

re: #1 kreyagg

Well, I've played jazz and taught jazz and been in enough bands to know that I've got it straight. Now, to be completely open, I've spent zero time learning how to properly record myself. Nevertheless, if you put me next to a B3, I know my way around.

But...let's get our definitions straight in order to avoid pushing this conversation over a cliff. You'll need to define 'consciously'. You also mentioned a word the other day--conscience, as if you believe this exists. Did I read that correctly? Eventually we can talk about Free Will, but I don't think we're there yet.

What do you think these musicians were doing, if not being intellectually and spiritually free and flowing?

3 kreyagg  Mon, Oct 10, 2011 10:41:35pm

re: #2 Bob Levin

Well, when you begin improvising, do you know exactly where your going? Do you just take phrases that you've previously memorized and stick them together? Your use of the phrase "free flowing" would seem to indicate otherwise. Your choices seem to be limited by what has been played immediately before.
By consciously I mean to be fully aware of whatever it is your trying to do. Like trying to thread a needle or how you drive while being followed by a police cruiser.

I'm out of time for now...why did I try to reply to this at work?

4 Bob Levin  Tue, Oct 11, 2011 1:00:45am

re: #3 kreyagg

Well, when you begin improvising, do you know exactly where your going?

You know what tune you're playing. But basically, if you don't play, then there will be silence. There are many decisions that go into creating a solo. In fact, there are many decisions that go into comping for a solo.

Your choices seem to be limited by what has been played immediately before.

I wouldn't say limited. But for every choice you make, you disregard many more options. It happens very quickly. I don't think the process can be measured.

or how you drive while being followed by a police cruiser.

I can't think of anything more inhibiting than driving followed by a police cruiser. That would be the opposite of jazz. And the opposite of free will. Maybe that's not the best analogy you want to draw.

I'll post something else, no need to finish the discussion tonight.


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