JAZZ: Freedom, Improvisation, and Adaptation to Change
Enrique Aboitiz Mendieta
Ana Aboitiz Delgado
Ana and I were working on a project and one thing leads to another, as jazz does. She sends me the email (shared below) about jazz and how it guided her. Now, I am an analogue guy who listens to jazz all the time, but on vinyl records. For you digital guys, I will save you the trouble of looking up what jazz is on your Wiki. Read or skip to the post Wiki comments, read through Ana’s note, and then watch the video before you go to my comments.
Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in blues and ragtime. Since the 1920s Jazz Age, it has been recognized as a major form of musical expression in traditional and popular music, linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions.
As jazz spread around the world, it drew on national, regional, and local musical cultures, which gave rise to different styles. New Orleans jazz began in the early 1910s, combining earlier brass-band marches, French quadrilles, biguine, ragtime and blues with collective polyphonic improvisation. In the 1930s, heavily arranged dance-oriented swing big bands, Kansas City jazz, a hard-swinging, bluesy, improvisational style and Gypsy jazz (a style that emphasized musette waltzes) were the prominent styles. Bebop emerged in the 1940s, shifting jazz from danceable popular music toward a more challenging "musician's music" which was played at faster tempos and used more chord-based improvisation. Cool jazz developed near the end of the 1940s, introducing calmer, smoother sounds and long, linear melodic lines.
The 1950s saw the emergence of free jazz, which explored playing without regular meter, beat and formal structures, and in the mid-1950s, hard bop emerged, which introduced influences from rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues, especially in the saxophone and piano playing. Modal jazz developed in the late 1950s, using the mode, or musical scale, as the basis of musical structure and improvisation. Jazz-rock fusion appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s, combining jazz improvisation with rock music's rhythms, electric instruments, and highly amplified stage sound. In the early 1980s, a commercial form of jazz fusion called smooth jazz became successful, garnering significant radio airplay. Other styles and genres abound in the 2000s, such as Latin and Afro-Cuban jazz.
Ana's email to EMA:
I completely agree. I once heard from a Columbia jazz professor, if you think of work as emPLAYment instead of employment, how would that change the way you work and what you could achieve?
The premise of play is that the ideas, the solutions to a problem, are not prescribed. OpCons and potential are endless if you are willing to enter a room ready to dream, experiment, and learn — this is play. In play there is no failure, just moving on from something not working and trying something new. It is a very important mental distinction that allows you to continue experimenting in order to learn and improve both incrementally and exponentially.
I share with you this video from that Columbia professor, Chris Washburne—what we can learn from jazz, how play is a part of that. I'm a fan of this thinking on play and improvisation. It's an integral component of a culture of pursuing constant innovation!
WHY JAZZ MATTERS
The creative process of jazz—collaboration and improvisation—can inform leadership, adaptability, innovation, collaboration, and risk management in business settings, demonstrates Chris Washburne, Associate Professor of Music and Director of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance program at Columbia University.
I will leave in your minds very little in a snackable set of comments. I also learned that word, “snackable”, from Ana. The following in CAPS is not me shouting but a passion you feel!
FREEDOM AND IMPROVISATION!
WE HAVE BEEN MUFFLED AND TAUGHT TO CONFORM FOR 18 YEARS AFTER TWO YEARS OF AGE.
NOW THE POLITICAL CORRECT, POST-LIBERALS, LEFTISTS THAT HAVE TAKEN OVER REGULATION, MEDIA, AND UNIVERSITIES HAVE ONLY ONE WAY OF COMMUNICATING AND THAT IS TO SPREAD THE LOUDEST AND KEEP.
We all know that unintended consequences are real and live with COVID. There is no need for me to remind you.
The importance of the mitigation of unintended consequences is about an entire team being attentive and engaged all of the time—A&E 24.60.60 997.
Change is coming at you. Adapt to it or, as Darwin reminds us, you die.
There have always been people who try to muﬄe free, open, and candid discussion. With the media on their side, the loud muﬄe is more aggressive.
COVID’S MESSAGE IS ‘BE READY’! Listen to jazz, feel its freedom, feel its adoption, feel the power of improvisation!
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What do you think?