I leave them alone in the set break and write in my notebook ‘They make more of their own collective and individual history every time they do this.’ When I read it back the next day I wonder what the hell I was thinking.
I’ve been listening to improvised music for over a decade and I still don’t ‘get it’. Musical friends say I don’t need to ‘understand’. They say I just need to listen. Over the years, that’s exactly what I’ve learned to do. I’m always learning to do it again!
Evans’ bold vision has allowed her to remain faithful to Komunyakaa’s poems and to Parker’s spirit, while doing so firmly with her own voice. Her finely-crafted composition has given the vocalists and soloists excellent vehicles within which they can pay their individual tributes to Parker, perhaps best summed up in the memorable ‘Testimony Coda’, with Bernie McGann’s last notes floating gently in the air.
“… I find I have to focus on my own contribution and sadly miss some of the great musicians who are playing until after I’ve finished my concerts…”
Jazz is not what it used to be – as an art form it’s had such a journey that the connection of what we call jazz and improvised music to the roots of the music in American blues and swing is not always obvious. World-renowned improvising trio The Necks, though hard to categorise, fit under the label of ‘jazz and improvised music’ but their relationship to Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis or Diana Krall is not obvious.