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Old Jul 6, 2005, 07:39 PM
Brian Nation Brian Nation is offline
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Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Vancouver
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Roscoe Mitchell

I had the weirdest jazz fest experience ever this year. Didn't make it to a lot of stuff, missed at least one must-see event due to misreading the venue and date, a couple of nights I just didn't feel up to it so stayed home. My heart just wasn't in it this time around.

So the timing was perfect . . . having Roscoe Mitchell's concert on the last night of the festival. I left the Cultch exhilarated and feeling that even if I'd heard nothing else it was a great jazz festival for me.

Other than having a bit of a hard time hearing the piano this was a perfect and brilliant performance as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know . . . I’ve never been good at verbalizing musical impressions so I can’t do this concert justice but I can say that I rarely hear such thoughtful, coherent, and intelligent improvisations that at the same time sounds so compositional yet free. The communication amongst the players and the high level of musicianship altogether was rapturous.

I hear a lot of excellent music on a regular basis but it’s been a long time since a musical experience lifted me like that, like the first jazz music I heard in my youth, a hundred years ago.

At his talk the previous day Mitchell spoke about his concept of improvisation as instant composition. I've heard him say this before and I guess I was hazy about his meaning. I thought that's what improvisation was. Now I get it. Beautifully.
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