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“Musicians who have no aspirations of "making it big" are the ones who'll most likely rely on predictable, recognizable licks, as it is the standard of the niche they've fallen in.”

-WOW, thats pretty arrogant and assuming. “Making it big” is used pretty vaguely as well. I always strive to play with as much spontaneity and creativity as possible. I enjoy gigging out periodically and take advantage of every playing opportunity as I can, but I have no aspirations for a Verve release yet. As mentioned by asaxman, if you read any interviews from the jazz greats (or talk to any skilled, experienced jazz musician) precomposed figures are an integral part of the jazz language. I would challenge anyone to play 100%, pristine, virgin lines for more than, maybe, a few bars. If I read your post correctly then anyone who has made it big doesn't play “predictable, recognizable licks.”

As for my $.02 on the subject, I would say the similarity between jazz and chess begins at limitless possibilities and functionally ends at the need for strategy and situational awareness. The adversarial nature of chess and the collaborative nature of ensemble music nullifies most of the comparison. Some statements from this trumpet player are just plain wrong. Eddy Lewis mentions that using memorized licks turns off your ears. He may not listen to Michael Brecker or John Coltrane, but I know Miles used licks, and Roy Hargrove does it as well.
“- now forget all of that and just play.” This usually means don’t practice when you’re performing by trying to fit practice material into every possible place they can go; let the licks come out in your playing naturally by listening and playing with the other musicians and feeling the audience's reactions, etc.

a901man said:
I think jazz is like doodling, which I see as a relaxed and laid back activity. I like chess too but I think there is a lot of thinking in advance with that, but jazz is more spontaneous. I used to doodle a lot in high school when I was bored with my teachers lecture, but this is coming from a background of drawing more seriously, trying to draw scenes, etc. I never imagined my artistic intent would transfer into music and jazz the way it did. I used to draw complex scenes of interconnected parts, sort of psychedelic, but now, I just like to play jazz and express myself through music, and can see the flowing lines in my playing similar to the lines I used to draw on a page, so I don't draw anymore, just play my sax. :D
Yeah, sometimes I don't think teachers realize just how boring and repetitive they are. If only I could "doodle" with music while they blabber on and on. I guess I will have to stick with just sleeping and drawing random drawings.
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