60(ish) Seconds: The Enabling Constraints of Jazz
Published13 May, 2021
Photo credit Rommel Cabanal
In jazz, although the instrumentation is more or less defined, the possibilities are anything but.
The jazz orchestra offers myriad possibilities for the composer brave enough to take it on. Our music’s greatest geniuses have accepted that challenge. Names like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Gil Evans and Dizzy Gillespie have shaped the sound of the jazz orchestra, tailoring it to their own musical eccentricities.
No longer restricted to a defined solo section, the jazz improvisers are often given the freedom to create throughout the composition adding their own musical voice and individuality in and out of a written musical work.
Big band composers today have also embraced more orchestral colours, timbres and musical textures taking advantage of the finely honed skills of today’s working musicians.
Though the instrumentation is more or less defined, the possibilities are anything but — an enabling constraint allowing one’s individual voice to shine through.
Regardless of your discipline, how are you making your voice heard? How are you advancing or evolving your art?