Sir Scott of Paradiddle’s (also, class of ’78) band “Better Than Nuttin’” played on Saturday. I got see his passion for playing music and creating a lot of happiness for his old classmates.
Okay, so today I was listening to a little "Bela Fleck and the Flecktones" and started thinking about life and music – especially the jazz metaphor. So, I decided to do a little light reading on the subject of “Organizational Science on Jazz Improvisation and Organizing” (It’s amazing what’s out their on the www).
First, I’m NOT a musician (hell, I can’t even play “Chopsticks”), so the idea of improvisation having rules and being organized seems a little odd to me. On the other hand, we often “improvise” well within the rules of our lives (socially, morally, organizationally…). So, I guess it makes sense.
But, can “improvisation” become too predictable?
I think that is what I love so much about Autumn: It’s the chance to go and play “outside” our structured lives. Autumn is like Miles Davis surprising his band and disrupting the routine by calling unrehearsed songs and choosing “odd” keys (at least that’s what I’ve read about him). Every day of Autumn looks, smells, and feels totally different and unrehearsed. But, I think that we have to endeavor to engage it – to create our experiences in it (hopefully I'll become awake enough to do this everyday, no matter the season).
I don’t really understand creating jazz -- but I like it – maybe because it’s more like a n unexpected conversation (as some have suggested) than a speech (symphonic orchestras playing a set music score).
Playing outside. Calling on different, unrehearsed songs. Choosing odd keys.
Sounds like a beautiful way to spark improvisation in our lives – to play the same song in a different way; to create a spark in a life that has become too organized and predictable; to make the most of this very short “jam session” we have on this earth.
Don’t get me wrong. I think that there has to some structure in our lives or it will just become noise. To continue the metaphors, I think we need balance in everything,: Classical music with minimal improvisation; Swing with constrained improve, and Bebop and post-bob with more extensive improvisation of structure and rules.
Thanks Scott, Sir Hook, and all those musicians out there who have reminded me that we all sometimes need to…
Endeavor to improvise and to play “outside” with all the “odd” notes you can find.
Sir Bowie “off to find some Miles Davis” of Greenbriar