Sunday, January 8, 2017

Using creativity while still following rules and guidelines reminds me of Thelonius Monk's application of both in his music. Here's drummer Frankie Dunlop from an interview: Before all of the solos and all the rudiments and flashy throwing sticks up in the air and all that, which is good, but the main thing is what's keeping -and this is one of the things I loved about Monk, what he used to say -, keep the time. He said if you're going to do something make sure you can do it within the meter. I also found this quote from Monk: I say, play your own way. Don't play what the public want? You play what you want and let the public pick up on what you doing? even if it does take them fifteen, twenty years. However,Monk opined: At this time the fashion is to bring something to jazz that I reject. They speak of freedom. But one has no right, under pretext of freeing yourself, to be illogical and incoherent by getting rid of structure and simply piling a lot of notes one on top of the other. There's no beat anymore. You can't keep time with your foot. I believe that what is happening to jazz with people like Omette Coleman, for instance, is bad. There's a new idea that consists in destroying everything and find what's shocking and unexpected; whereas jazz must first of all tell a story that anyone can understand. Note: I wrote this out with pen before transcribing to blog bytes :)