I should have elaborated. I have artists that I like - I'm just after a lot that are worth checking out. I've found a list on allmusic, so that's probably a good place to start.This is an interesting question. You know what style you want but haven't heard anything you like? I'm not an expert in those genres and have no idea who would be best today, or from the past. Gary would be a good one to ask.
Thanks dexdex. A very helpful post.My very pragmatic approach, nothing special actually: I try to mimic the phrasing, articulation, rhythmic placement of those styles/musicians I'd like to "integrate" in my playing. I do it by listening, and it represents an important part and will be very effective for most listeners. E.g.: play Petite Fleur on soprano "your way", and play it "like Bechet". The "Bechet" version will very likely have a better welcome. Because it includes Bechet's vocabulary.
The trickiest part is to pick the phrases and patterns in relation with the chord changes, and to "reverse engineer" how the musician builds his solos. This will start to give you a handle on how to build your impros, using those pieces and bits. This is where a very "industrial" approach can be used. Pick a phrase, find-out where it fits harmonically (typically II-V-I), how to place it, and then learn it in all keys. To be honest, I'm not always pushing it that far, but this is one of the approaches which has probably been overused. Much of the over-coltranization or over-breckerization of modern jazz soloing was probably achieved that way. You can find books full of patterns, like a catalogue of building materials selling bricks, windows, stairs, tiles. I remember working with a Cannonball Style analysis with all the Cannonball bricks.
I agree with Wade's analysis. The question of the orthodoxy also applies to the audience (see my Petite Fleur example). Nevertheless, we learn to speak with our parents and peers...
Well, that sounds like the cart before the horse syndrome.Thank you very much for your insightful post Wade, it was a big help. I want to be a jazzer, and more specifically a hard bopper/soul jazzer. I do, however, want to be good at everything, but be excellent at hard bop and soul jazz. What are the essential records that I should be listening to so I can begin to assimilate that sort of style into my own playing?
Thank you. It's also good for me to move the phrase, isn't it?Find some artist whose improvising intrigues you in some way, but where you don't really get what they are doing, and then try playing a transcription of them (or transcribing it yourself). This may expand your vocabulary.
Thank you.As far as standards are concerned, there's nothing wrong with playing them to increase your "tune" vocabulary. Lennie Tristano (my teacher) played a small nucleus of standard tunes over & over. But they didn't plug in the same old cliches and quotes every time they played a tune. The challenge was to be truly inventive and play it differently every time. That takes a lot of imagination. He did make me play other players solos, (mostly Lester Young) but not to memorize riffs, but to get the feeling of how they felt the rhythm, time and harmony. You will absorb certain styles; and riffs might pop out subconsciously as you play. Some players with an enormous vocabulary of other people's ideas just plug them in at pre-planned junctures and are fooling themselves into thinking that it was their idea. If you're satisfied with that kind of playing, enjoy it. If not, you have to Practice Improvising a lot and garner whatever you can from your own ideas. Are your ideas equal to Sonny Rollins', probably not, but they are YOUR ideas and that counts for a lot. Commercial value be damned; there's almost no way to make a living playing jazz, so why let that get in your creative way? Why do you think a lot of the top players teach in colleges etc.? Lennie always thought one should have a way to afford to be able to live and then follow your musical desires. If you play out of the box, don't expect the general public to support your efforts. They like "songs" with words that tell them a story because they can't hear the story in instrumental music. Yes, there are great vocalists but that's not what I'm talking about. Musical cut & paste is anathema to me. Listen, listen, listen and hopefully you will garner some useful information to use in your own playing. But make it your own playing as much as you can, with a little help from your musical friends.
Best of luck.
Word!I would agree with some others who have posted here, though, that emulation is a great way to develop your sound concept organically. Immerse yourself in the playing of one musical hero for a while... Sing their solos and teach them to yourself by ear. Copy their use of air in how they shape their phrasing. Deconstruct a couple of the motifs they use to create their phrases, and learn to apply them to varying chord structures as I detailed in the link I posted. Shed your scales in steps, intervals and chord patterns. Play with other musicians.