Tuesday, May 6, 2014

More on Improvisation

Last night I went to Barbes, the Brooklyn boite where my daughter, Rachelle, performs monthly.  Her improvisations get increasingly fascinating the more I get immersed in the the improvisatory quality that has to remain a vital element of music performance.

I notice that she has two different kinds of improvisatory impulse:  The verbal improv is most free when the musical elements are kept to a minimum, and the tonal elements when there are no words.  She has always improvised the intros to the songs, as she did again last night, but there was a magical moment in which such an intro launched without interruption into a new song.  Even the bass player didn't realize what was happening until it had already taken place.

I have learned a great deal by putting myself on a regular basis in the presence of someone who works with these forces in order to realize the potential disguised by standard music notation.