Legendary jazz saxophonist, Sydney Bechet, once challenged a fellow musician with, “I’m going to give you one note… See how many ways you can play that note - growl it, smear it, flat it, sharp it, do anything you want to it.” Billie Holiday stated, “I never sing a song the same way twice. …If you can, then it ain’t music, it’s close-order-drill….” Jazz great, Benny Green, said it another way, “A jazz musician is a juggler who uses harmonies instead of oranges.” But it all refers to the same thing, the art of improvisation.
What’s improvisation? It’s been defined as the musical inspiration of the moment. And it requires being intimately attuned to the music because where the music is headed is a mystery until it gets there. You might say it’s akin to knowing where you’re going before you know where you’re going. Now that takes talent – great talent!
So, if you love jazz, save January 24, 2008 to hear some of the most talented jazz legends go where they’re going before they know where they’re going. It’s the 50th Anniversary Monterey Jazz Festival performance at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido – The Cultural Heart of San Diego North.™