The Book Of Jazz - online reference book

Its Nature, Instruments, Sources, Sounds, Development & Performers

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To accomplish that, classical musicians are going to have to learn a lot more about developing a feeling for jazz and vice versa, dont you think?
Well, I think it's going to be a matter of becoming more and more aware of the fact that everybody is actually doing the same thing, or at least having the same aims. For instance in the classi­cal recitals, particularly the piano recitals, somebody in the audi­ence would pass up a theme and the pianist would take it and develop it. That's practically what jazz musicians are doing— there's a relationship to it anyway, though in jazz the develop­ments, or the ad lib variations, are based on the harmonic struc­ture rather than on the melody.
Do you think that classical musicians will get the feeling for phrasing of jazz correctly? I know you had trouble when you performed one of your extended works, Night Creature, with the Symphony of the Air at Carnegie Hall
I think that's a matter of language in writing. If you write it the way they understand, I think the symphony men will interpret it as you want it, but I think some of the preciseness in jazz writ­ing has been lost and some of the rhythmic nuances have been taken for granted; a jazz musician will see a certain phrase and assume that it should be played one way or another. Of course jazz is a rather personal thing, too. Say you're writing a passage for a particular sax section. If you change an accent, move it ahead a beat, it might be much more effective for one particular sax section, whereas if it were some other sax section the musi­cians would say "This is not the thing we do best; perhaps there should be an anticipation here." It's like tailored music, and I think when we inquire we'll find that all music is that way. I think the music the masters wrote was written for a specific great to perform it. Nobody sits down and writes just for a fiddle or saxophone—that's a little too cold. For instance, if you are going to write something for alto sax, if you just say to yourself: "This is a concerto for alto sax'* and that's all you know about it, it would make a big difference-you would write it differently if you knew that Hodges were going to play it, or Benny Carter or Willie Smith.
Do you think the kind of jazz played in night clubs now by the