Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Magic of Jazz

Each composition intimates an endless number of potential meanings and permits an infinite variety of expressive interpretations.

Jazz is, after all, an improvised music. It demands sensitivity, spontaneity, and flexibility on the part of performers and listeners alike. The magic of the jazz experiences lies in its irreplicability. Every sound is precious because it will never again be played (or heard) in precisely the same way, at the same moment, in the same place, with the same feeling.

Thus it is best to think of these compositions not as exhaustive aesthetic dissertations but as loose tonal suggestions. Each song implies a basic mood. Each tune establishes an overall theme. After that it is up to us, as improvising musicians, to take these themes and weave them into personalized, inspired, spontaneous narratives. And it is up to you, as listeners, to take these moods and use them as windows to your own souls. Ultimately, these songs will be about your experiences, your impressions, and your emotions. They can mean whatever you want them to mean. They can be whatever you imagine them to be. They can take you wherever you wish to go.

So long as they make you feel.

----Joshua Redman, April 1994, excerpt from liner notes of Mood Swing

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