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IMPROVISATION AS CONTINUALLY JUGGLED PRIORITIES: JULIAN "CANNONBALL" ADDERLEY'S "STRAIGHT, NO CHASER"

IMPROVISATION AS CONTINUALLY JUGGLED PRIORITIES: JULIAN "CANNONBALL" ADDERLEY'S "STRAIGHT, NO... playing an effective solo; overemphasis on either one will produce a less-than-satisfying musical statement. If the balance is tilted toward the reflective side, the soloist may be accused of empty virtuosic display or, more important, not listening to the ensemble. If the reactive branch is favored excessively, the soloist might be accused of not “saying anything,” of being uncreative, or of failing to provide sufficient initiative to propel the music forward. In a compelling solo, the combination of reflective and reactive thought is paramount; a solo as a whole must be an amalgam of sensitive communication and well-honed compositional skill. In practice, the distinction between these thought processes is not nearly so straightforward; in fact, both reflective and reactive thought operate simultaneously in an improvisation.1 It is not the purpose of this article to tease apart these two notions definitively, or to create a clear-cut boundary between them, if this were even possible. Nor is its aim to make claims about whether any particular aspect of an improvisation represents one or other type of thinking. The distinction is nonetheless useful, both as a basic framework upon which to drape musical observations and as a means to approach a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Music Theory Duke University Press

IMPROVISATION AS CONTINUALLY JUGGLED PRIORITIES: JULIAN "CANNONBALL" ADDERLEY'S "STRAIGHT, NO CHASER"

Journal of Music Theory , Volume 49 (2) – Jan 1, 2005

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2005 by Yale University
ISSN
0022-2909
eISSN
1941-7497
DOI
10.1215/00222909-007
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

playing an effective solo; overemphasis on either one will produce a less-than-satisfying musical statement. If the balance is tilted toward the reflective side, the soloist may be accused of empty virtuosic display or, more important, not listening to the ensemble. If the reactive branch is favored excessively, the soloist might be accused of not “saying anything,” of being uncreative, or of failing to provide sufficient initiative to propel the music forward. In a compelling solo, the combination of reflective and reactive thought is paramount; a solo as a whole must be an amalgam of sensitive communication and well-honed compositional skill. In practice, the distinction between these thought processes is not nearly so straightforward; in fact, both reflective and reactive thought operate simultaneously in an improvisation.1 It is not the purpose of this article to tease apart these two notions definitively, or to create a clear-cut boundary between them, if this were even possible. Nor is its aim to make claims about whether any particular aspect of an improvisation represents one or other type of thinking. The distinction is nonetheless useful, both as a basic framework upon which to drape musical observations and as a means to approach a

Journal

Journal of Music TheoryDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2005

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