Saturday, June 04, 2011

Continuing to contemplate the Chick Corea solo concert last weekend. From a e-mail I sent today:
"Don’t know if I’ll ever really get thoughts sorted out into that whole linear verbal expression thing (words). Maybe this will make sense: He represents the epitome of a “school” of jazz that defines itself by it’s (harmonic) “vocabulary”, and (with some) creates an almost fundamentalist like separation between who is “hip” and who isn’t. I represent a more “historic” approach (not talking about style here, but harmonically), that many in the aforementioned camp respect, while some remain condescending (I’ve dealt with this my entire career). More importantly, I think that what I do resonates with an audience broader than those who seek “jazz-speak”. Chick displayed his great harmonic prowess (among other things) resulting from a lifetime of discipline developing and perfecting the sounds and textures he creates. I can speak enough of that language to order from a fast food menu, but would struggle in deep conversation (so to speak). I look at it this way; the content of one’s vocabulary is second in importance to how effectively one uses what they have. Actually, when I was younger, I was sidetracked by that “hipster” mentality (and studied for 3 years with, in essence, a Chick disciple), until I realized that I already spoke a cohesive language, which was already valid, and mine to express ... That doesn’t mean, though, that the concert didn’t inspire me. To the contrary. I may not speak exactly the same language, but I can be (or at least feel) as much in command. I felt, just today, as if I was channeling his confidence."


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