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Thread: Essential Improvisational Listening

  1. #1
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    Essential Improvisational Listening

    I was wondering what everyone thought of as essential listening for the novice improviser... works which exhibit either the basic jist of improvisation to the beginner or show him the, presumably amazing,creative heights to which the improvisational process can lead.

  2. #2
    ,.¤oOo¤., theox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlAqsaMarytr
    I was wondering what everyone thought of as essential listening for the novice improviser... works which exhibit either the basic jist of improvisation to the beginner or show him the, presumably amazing,creative heights to which the improvisational process can lead.
    Without a doubt Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.

  3. #3
    Latin Wedding Band Los Boleros's Avatar
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    Jeff Becks , "Cause we've ended as Lovers", on the Blow by Blow album.

    This songs proves that phrasing is where it is at.
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    This is just my oppinion, and it's really gonna depend on what you listen to. I'm a jazz guy and live for improvising, since that's all jazz is. So here's my sample.

    -anything by Kurt Rosenwinkel
    -any of Joe Pass's 4 'Virtuoso' CD's
    -any of the 3 CD's Michael Brecker did with Pat Metheny ('Tales from the Hudson', 'Time is of the Essence' and one other one I can't remember)
    -Jimmy Bruno - 'Burnin' or the one he did with Joey DeFrancesco
    -Wes Montgomery - 'Incredible Jazz Guitar'
    -Keith Jarrett - 'Klon Concerts' which is 100% improvised but sounds like complete arrangments. 'Tribute' is also one of his best.
    -Brad Mehldau - 'Live in Tokyo' - can't beat the 20 minute solo piano version of Paranoid Android, even though it sounds nothing like Brad Mehldau.
    Last edited by silent-storm; 12-20-2004 at 09:59 PM.

  5. #5
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    I agree with you Los Boleros, that song is simply beautiful, and the phrasing is awesome. Although I know what you meant, you might have mislead him to think that this is improv. Just didn't want to confuse him ...

    But your point is well taken. Phrasing is definitely where it's at!

  6. #6
    Registered User SeattleRuss's Avatar
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    jman wrote:

    I agree with you Los Boleros, that song is simply beautiful, and the phrasing is awesome. Although I know what you meant, you might have mislead him to think that this is improv. Just didn't want to confuse him ...
    Doesn't he use variations on the melody to start his solo and then gradually depart from it and just improv? That's what I remember......

  7. #7
    Registered User SeattleRuss's Avatar
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    AlAqsaMarytr,

    What kind of music do you want to apply this improv to?

  8. #8
    always learning
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    you know, SeattleRuss, I guess in that sense you are probably right. I think I may get a little anal when it comes to defining Improv... I like to think more of group improv, where the whole band is improvising together, playing off each other, etc... rather than the band doing one thing and the lead just blowing over that...

  9. #9
    Registered User SeattleRuss's Avatar
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    jman wrote:

    you know, SeattleRuss, I guess in that sense you are probably right. I think I may get a little anal when it comes to defining Improv... I like to think more of group improv, where the whole band is improvising together, playing off each other, etc... rather than the band doing one thing and the lead just blowing over that...
    I know what you mean. I'm the same way, at least for myself. The difference between someone soloing over already-laid tracks or some backing track that they made from drum loops etc only has the dynamic of the soloist reacting to what he hears. But the dynamic you get when the whole thing is live, assuming you have players who listen and are reactive, is huge. you have a soloist reacting to a rhythm section that is in turn reacting to him reacting etc - it's never ending.

    Of course, there's the whole issue / debate over what constitutes improv, e.g., What ratio of pre-packaged lines vs truely spontaneously generated stuff can still be considered improv....I'm not gonna go there...lol

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    5 years, still suck.. Leviathon's Avatar
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    Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.... Absolutely amazing musicianship from Jazz, Funk, Rock, Blues, Country and Classical... Get the DVD, "Bela Fleck and the Flecktones: Live at the quick" or any of their cd's... Fantastic stuff...
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