Wednesday, 16 February 2011

A Pot Of Tea & A Question On Musical Improvisation

Yesterday my good friend 'Banksy Boy' and I were having one of our deep discussions, over a pot of assam/ceylon blend, about the relative merits of musicians who are readers, (usaully) classically trained and those who come from a more contemporary background, from say a jazz/blues tradition. Our discussion came hot on the heels of loads of stuff we've been reading in blogland about music for worship, both good, bad and in some cases ugly.

We both wondered why is it that in our experience musos. who are classically trained, and more often than not 'technically' far better than their jazz/blues contemporaries are so flummoxed when asked to improvise. A simple question really.
To use your instrument to express yourself, that's all. After all they have the knowledge of scales, arpeggios, modes etc. in thier arsenal but when asked to open up and be creative for a few bars the result is often at best stilted and wooden.

Now my alterior motive behind this post is to share with you one of my favourite saxaphone solos, by Pee Wee Ellis playing with Van Morrison at Montreux in 1980.



Van's singing style also exemplifies the nub of our discussion as it probably breaks all the rules that any music teacher would espouse, but, it reaches deep into both song and listener, in short it has soul.

1 comment:

BanksyBoy said...

Yeah, brilliant stuff! And love the 'slightly less than perfect' feel of the whole piece. Excellent cuppa too!

PB