How do jazzmusicians improvise?

Jazzpianist Billy Taylor explains and demonstrats how jazzmusicians improvise by playing and altering George Gerswin’s tune “They can’t take that away from me”.  Worth noting is Taylor’s comments on the importance of being prepared in order to make a successful improvised performance. Translated to music this means that he needs to know Gershwin’s tune, for a start, to be able to alter the tune’s harmony, rhythm and melody. He draws a parallell between giving a speech and performing jazz, which both requires preparation and the knowledge of a language and which in both cases should be articulated in coherent, meaningful phrases.

Ø. Kvinge

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