So many types of Jazz. Composition on the go. These guys are clever – not only do they play the stuff but are basically improvising their way through entire pieces that will probably never get performed exactly the same way again.

Of course, rock musicians improvise their solos but very often, those improvisations become fixed thanks to the recording of a CD.  Audiences learn the solo sections and expect to hear them played again live at concerts. So they start very often as an improvisation and end up as a fixed routine.

Trad jazz, jazz rock, free jazz; the biggest element of them all is the idea of basically composing on the trot. Really difficult to do and there has to be a certain rapport between the performers or this music just doesn’t work well at all.

In order to improvise, the soloist needs to know the basis of what’s supporting him/her. Sometimes, it’s the sequence of the main melody; ie the same chords used in the melody are used as the backing. At other times, the improvisation is based on certain types of scales that are cleverly worked out so that the improvisations fir pretty well or there is an element of dangerous living, where the soloist does a ‘free’ improvisation and everyone goes with the flow.

Very difficult to do and requires an enormous amount of confidence and technical skill on an instrument in order to do this successfully.

In the review section you can find reviews of interesting albums in this genre.


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