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Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
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Using your intuition and feelings when improvising is most important be it at the most advanced level or just a basic beginner. To thoroughly approach this as an art form and something that has deep meaning is most important. The masters when they played, be it Johnny Dodds or Sidney Bechet or Bud Powell on through the greats like Wayne Shorter or Charlie Mariano all came from a very deep place. At times, this place is something that you must go to in a natural way. Nothing cosmic about it, it's almost like a trance. It's almost like when your telling someone a story and you close your eyes and you're taking them somewhere with you. Art Pepper wrote a song about this called "The Trip." Stan Getz called this frame of mind the "alpha state."

Whether its experienced in dreams, altered states, or simply sitting in solitude, the artist must be aware of the visionary realm. In Buddhist culture and other forms of spiritual thought, this is called the "third eye." It is the sixth in the series of energy centers in the body known as Charka. The sixth Charka contains and controls knowledge, intuition, and perception. Inherent to any of these philosophies of the "third eye" is recognition and attention paid to the source of human creativity. This human creativity can be one of the deepest subconscious forms of communication in the world. Opening your thoughts to the unknown realms of your own imagination. Many times musicians inquest to unlock the force behind this theory of the eye has shadowed their colleagues throughout ancient history. In my humble opinion, the subconscious travel that one can take studying Buddhism or any of those particular forms runs a very strong parallel to the stunning body of work of many jazz saxophone players.

How many times have we witnessed a player deep in a trance way beyond the environment he is in, whether it's a club, or a concert or just in a corner practicing? He's in another space for sure! What I have experienced is a kind of network between the people improvising (a mental network you could say) where many are connected and there is a kind of dialogue going on without any words being spoken.Like the great bands of Miles Davis or Wayne Shorter or John Coltrane.

I'm pretty sure that many times, a person sitting cross-legged in deep meditation is in the same spiritual space as a tenor sax player behind a bar with a screaming organ trio and his eyes closed...playing from the deepest spot in his soul. What I'm getting at here is nothing cosmic or nothing too whacked out...what I'm trying to bring your attention is music needs all the imagination from an individual it can get. When unconscious-unspoken communication, traveling at the speed of thought, becomes the only or at least the truest form of communication, you just know everything is clicking just like it should ... the energy is like a ball and bounces around through glances and body comunication.It is awesome, it's the inner spirit of your mind in it's highest form, the music is inside of you, you must learn to bring it from the inside out.

At this point in time in jazz, everything seems to be published and everything seems to almost be written down. We are in a great educational state. But where are the people who are really reaching within and trusting themselves to their own creative muse?
This is the element that I am addressing here. As a student of music, take some time to think about using your intuition. As Bird said, "First you master the music, then you master your horn, then you forget all that **** and just play!"

We need to keep that in the front part of our minds and make that a slogan similar to the many people who look to their "third eye." As you see, I'm trying to point out a parallel in creative paths. It's not easy. But it is easy when you bring it into your own consciousness and try to practice these aspects. Sure, licks, lines, inversions, and all that good stuff is of paramount importance. But let us not forget to keep the magic in the music.
Give all that you have and you shall receive more than you can imagine experiencing when playing jazz!

Your gratitude empowers others to play even better. Remember fear destroys the souls ability to create. So start now and use the power of love to encompass all your decisions so fear has no room to exist in your life. Remove fear from your thoughts and you remove and limitations. All is illusion and all illusion is yours to control. So be connected. Everything happens for a reason. Chance is limited to a coin. Decision is limited to free will. We are limited to our decisions.


The word is ~ imagination !!
 

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Deep gratitude to you Tim. Keep swinging brother!
 

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Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
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Discussion Starter #3
Deep gratitude to you Tim. Keep swinging brother!
STOWE MASS....Guido that is a fond stomping ground of mine from decades ago my friend. :)

Thanks for the kindness.
 

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Opening your thoughts to the unknown realms of your own imagination. Many times musicians inquest to unlock the force behind this theory of the eye has shadowed their colleagues throughout ancient history. In my humble opinion, the subconscious travel that one can take studying Buddhism or any of those particular forms runs a very strong parallel to the stunning body of work of many jazz saxophone players.


I agree...It appears you study/practice Buddhism Tim? I happen to study/practice the Hindu technique of Kriya Yoga, taught by Paramahansa Yogananda, where those perception centers (chakras/energy) are highlighted with intense concentration. It's the fundamental hallmark of Kriya practice. I've been practicing for 22 years now and some of the experiences I've had relating to imagination and depth are incredible. I attribute it to Kriya yoga, as far as having the process of imagination cultivated.
In that environment of incredible peace (Kriya), perception runs unimpeded and it carries through and accumulates.

Music and meditation are vital parallels to explore because they so easily go hand in hand. One can
accent the other. Well, this has been my experience.

What can be said about imagination? Not only in music but in any form of expression where the intellect searches for ideas instinctively depending on their field?
In a musician's case, how can imagination be cultivated when theory is predominant? Understanding how a musical instrument works and how it relates to a particular element of expression is a lifelong endeavor. What would you say would be a critical component in all that theory to help stimulate a parallel to imagination?

Good topic Tim! Without imagination, what would be the point?
 

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“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
― Albert Einstein

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.”
― Albert Einstein
 

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The "beginners" section of this forum seems an unusual place to find the profundity, wisdom, and acute insight of Tim's words. We are all forever students of music, and wherever we currently find ourselves on this journey, the natural connection between musicians, and between musicians and the music, is the crucial component of who we are, and what we do. To ingrain this concept into the core of our very existence via an intimate relationship with our own imagination is a natural process, as Tim illustrates. It can be cultivated, and with stimulation it will bloom into an insatiable, wonderful addiction. Imagine that.
 

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Using your intuition and feelings when improvising is most important be it at the most advanced level or just a basic beginner. To thoroughly approach this as an art form and something that has deep meaning is most important. The masters when they played, be it Johnny Dodds or Sidney Bechet or Bud Powell on through the greats like Wayne Shorter or Charlie Mariano all came from a very deep place. At times, this place is something that you must go to in a natural way. Nothing cosmic about it, it's almost like a trance. It's almost like when your telling someone a story and you close your eyes and you're taking them somewhere with you. Art Pepper wrote a song about this called "The Trip." Stan Getz called this frame of mind the "alpha state."

Whether its experienced in dreams, altered states, or simply sitting in solitude, the artist must be aware of the visionary realm. In Buddhist culture and other forms of spiritual thought, this is called the "third eye." It is the sixth in the series of energy centers in the body known as Charka. The sixth Charka contains and controls knowledge, intuition, and perception. Inherent to any of these philosophies of the "third eye" is recognition and attention paid to the source of human creativity. This human creativity can be one of the deepest subconscious forms of communication in the world. Opening your thoughts to the unknown realms of your own imagination. Many times musicians inquest to unlock the force behind this theory of the eye has shadowed their colleagues throughout ancient history. In my humble opinion, the subconscious travel that one can take studying Buddhism or any of those particular forms runs a very strong parallel to the stunning body of work of many jazz saxophone players.

How many times have we witnessed a player deep in a trance way beyond the environment he is in, whether it's a club, or a concert or just in a corner practicing? He's in another space for sure! What I have experienced is a kind of network between the people improvising (a mental network you could say) where many are connected and there is a kind of dialogue going on without any words being spoken.Like the great bands of Miles Davis or Wayne Shorter or John Coltrane.

I'm pretty sure that many times, a person sitting cross-legged in deep meditation is in the same spiritual space as a tenor sax player behind a bar with a screaming organ trio and his eyes closed...playing from the deepest spot in his soul. What I'm getting at here is nothing cosmic or nothing too whacked out...what I'm trying to bring your attention is music needs all the imagination from an individual it can get. When unconscious-unspoken communication, traveling at the speed of thought, becomes the only or at least the truest form of communication, you just know everything is clicking just like it should ... the energy is like a ball and bounces around through glances and body comunication.It is awesome, it's the inner spirit of your mind in it's highest form, the music is inside of you, you must learn to bring it from the inside out.

At this point in time in jazz, everything seems to be published and everything seems to almost be written down. We are in a great educational state. But where are the people who are really reaching within and trusting themselves to their own creative muse?
This is the element that I am addressing here. As a student of music, take some time to think about using your intuition. As Bird said, "First you master the music, then you master your horn, then you forget all that **** and just play!"

We need to keep that in the front part of our minds and make that a slogan similar to the many people who look to their "third eye." As you see, I'm trying to point out a parallel in creative paths. It's not easy. But it is easy when you bring it into your own consciousness and try to practice these aspects. Sure, licks, lines, inversions, and all that good stuff is of paramount importance. But let us not forget to keep the magic in the music.
Give all that you have and you shall receive more than you can imagine experiencing when playing jazz!

Your gratitude empowers others to play even better. Remember fear destroys the souls ability to create. So start now and use the power of love to encompass all your decisions so fear has no room to exist in your life. Remove fear from your thoughts and you remove and limitations. All is illusion and all illusion is yours to control. So be connected. Everything happens for a reason. Chance is limited to a coin. Decision is limited to free will. We are limited to our decisions.


The word is ~ imagination !!
I call it the zone.

Someone needs some technique and gear to get into the zone but the zone is the most important thing.

Forums tend to focus on physical things like gear or pre fab things like scales or licks but the zone can't be physically analyzed.

Sometimes it's hard to get into the zone, depends on the day really and maybe sunspots and the tides.
 

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Great thoughts here!

Creating and improvising music in fact is one kind of meditation.
To let all thinking go off and experience another deeper area of being... the more "philosophic" religions sure have incorporated that into their doctrine, however you don't need to be religious to get the experience.
E.g. for very young children it's quite natural to fall in such a state of mind... many parents usually then do the worst thing in preventing them from being in that meditation-like state... usually they'd say: "watcha doing, staring holes in the air" or they're laughing at them "hey you silly, quit dreaming".
Personally I'm lucky that I've preserved the ability to fall into this meditation like state which is not only limited to the musical side of my being.
But sure, with music it gets the deepest feelings outta you... coming directly from your heart and soul.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
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Discussion Starter #9
Great thoughts here!

Creating and improvising music in fact is one kind of meditation.
To let all thinking go off and experience another deeper area of being... the more "philosophic" religions sure have incorporated that into their doctrine, however you don't need to be religious to get the experience.
E.g. for very young children it's quite natural to fall in such a state of mind... many parents usually then do the worst thing in preventing them from being in that meditation-like state... usually they'd say: "watcha doing, staring holes in the air" or they're laughing at them "hey you silly, quit dreaming".
Personally I'm lucky that I've preserved the ability to fall into this meditation like state which is not only limited to the musical side of my being.
But sure, with music it gets the deepest feelings outta you... coming directly from your heart and soul.
thank you...
 
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