Saturday, March 06, 2004

Jazz with a little rhythm and blues

There is a bit of music that keeps floating into my head. My mind hears little pieces and then it escapes me. It is a song I think I want to know by heart and play by ear; but it certainly is a song that I want to experience fully. It is a song that has parts of yesterday and all of today, but it has tomorrow's notes in it as well. Perhaps I can't hear it completely, precisely because it is tomorrow's notes that I am straining, trying to hear, instead of fully absorbing today's.

I want a head's up, a glimpse of the twists and choices. I want to know before I get there, which notes will appeal to me more, which ones will be discordant, which pleasant, which harder edged. Foreknowledge and planned out seems so much easier, because it fits with linear and doesn't ever require any angst in choosing in the moment that one has to choose. One can go smoothly and calmly to the choice that one made in the past, like familiar comforting tones and riffs that one has played hundreds of times (or more).

But it is possible to go calmly (or at least with full acceptance that it is this moment's notes that count most) to the point of choice without knowing which one will fit and without choosing ahead of time. Just go, and the choice will be clear or perhaps several choices will be made at once, attempted, and one riff will be or become more important. There is no hurry to get to the destination. This is jazz (with a little rhythm and blues), and this piece is all about improvisation and accepting that there is no one note or run of them that is always right and no way to know what it/ they will be until I get there.

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