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I allow a lot of room for improvisation and funny stuff. I always feel planned.
I've always been a spontaneous singer. And all the stuff that you hear on the end of the songs, what they call the ad libs - that just comes out of my head. That's not thought out at all. I have the verses and the choruses, and then after that it's total improvisation.
Improvisation is almost like the retarded cousin in the comedy world. We've been trying forever to get improvisation on TV. It's just like stand-up. It's best when it's just left alone. It doesn't translate always on TV. It's best live.
The shortest feedback loop I can think of is doing improvisation in front of an audience.
The main three components are the blues, improvisation - which is some kind of element that people are trying to make it up - and swing, which means even though they're making up music, they're trying to make it up together. It feels great, like you're having a great conversation with somebody.
Dancers work and they work and they work, and they master their skills so far that improvisation just comes flowing out of them. Their natural expression of the best they can possibly be comes out of them because there is no boundary to hold them back... That's the mentality that I'm trying to create, recreate and hold on to forever.
The thing about improvisation is that it's not about what you say. It's listening to what other people say. It's about what you hear.
Through improvisation, jazz teaches you about yourself. And through swing, it teaches you that other people are individuals too. It teaches you how to coordinate with them.
With improvisation, I just do it. It might be a total failure but then you just throw the dice again.
Not with the Rochester Philharmonic, but I formed my own orchestra, made up of musicians from the Eastman School, where I'm on the faculty now, direct the Jazz Ensemble and teach improvisation classes.
I find Indian music very funky. I mean it's very soulful, with their own kind of blues. But it's the only other school on the planet that develops improvisation to the high degree that you find in jazz music. So we have a lot of common ground.
I always had a knack for improvisation. I can write down the notes I play, but never really had a proper academic musical background. I suppose I'm blessed and cursed by the fact I have that freedom.
There's always some room for improvisation.
One interesting thing about jazz, or art in general, but jazz especially is such an individual art form in the sense that improvisation is such a big part of it, so it feels like it should be less soldiers in an army and more like free spirits melding. And yet, big band jazz has a real military side to it.
I was about 14 when I started with a theater group; it was like a stage group on the weekends alongside school. And it was run by a group of guys who'd been to drama school themselves in London. So they introduced us to techniques that they'd learn about, and they kind of informed us about improvisation and screenwriting and all of that stuff.
Perfect retention. I don't think I could do that-I've never disciplined myself to do it. I suppose a lot of it is a question of discipline. Which improvisation is not.
The apparatus has to serve our improbability and improvisation. Being good and playing the songs is not enough.
All you're trying to do in an improvisation is get as much material as possible for the editing room.
My whole life has been one big improvisation.
When I sit down to write a song, it's a kind of improvisation, but I formalize it a bit to get it into the studio, and when I step up to a microphone, I have a vague idea of what I'm about to do.
If it's a modern-day story dealing with certain ethnic groups, I think I could open up certain scenes for improvisation, while staying within the structure of the script.
To sing a song is like whispering to a child's ear. It is an art heavily relying on improvisation.
The music of the Gypsies belongs in the sphere of improvisation rather than in any other, without which it would have no power to exist.
Bebop and hip-hop, in so many ways, they're connected. A lot of rappers remind me so much of bebop guys in terms of improvisation, beats and rhymes. My dream is to see hip-hop incorporated in education. You've got the youth of the world in the palm of your hand.
The genius of our country is improvisation, and jazz reflects that. It's our great contribution to the arts.
William Arthur Ward
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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The crest and crowning of all good, Life's final star, is brotherhood.
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