First published here in 2003, but written for The Well in 1989.
“Jazz is often described as being an extremely individualistic art form. You can figure out which jazz musician is playing because one person’s improvisation sounds only like him or her. “What we think is happening is when you’re telling your own musical story, you’re shutting down impulses that might impede the flow of novel ideas.” – – ScienceDaily
We don’t fill in a formula of departments and features and tips and quips every hour every day every week.
We just make up our content on the fly. No going back. No edits. Working in raw ASCII. Keyboarding. Mainlining others’ thoughts.
Lock and Load. Fire and forget.
It’s like an endless orchestra of brain musicians high on brain jazz.
If you can type and have something to say, you can sit in on the session and jam.
If you can take it high if you can take it low if you can tie it in a knot if you can tie it in a bow. If you can throw it o’er your shoulder like a continental soldier…
You. Can. Play.
You can play. Any number can play. ANY NUMBER can play a number and that number is always an unknown number. But if you can play unknown numbers you can sit in on the session and jam.
If not, you can just log in and kick back and watch the others go at it.
You never know what you’re going to get, or which way the next person is going to bend the thread in your head.
You’re just there, in real-time, and saying, really, whatever comes into your head. Cause you can’t know what you think until you see what you say. . . . man.
Sometimes it’s flat, even more often predictable, and, yes, it can get really boring…. just like a lot of modern jazz.
But still. . . . man. . . . there are times — rarer now to be sure — when the whole thing . . . the thread . . . . woven through everyone’s head. . . .
Just. Takes. Off. . .
And you find yourself thinking things you never thought you’d think remembering licks long forgotten and saying things you never planned to say to a lot of people who are coming right back at you, jamming harder and seeing if you can all somehow take it higher.
Not to be profound, just to take it around. It’s like being in a Doctor Strange far out on the range in an intellectual groove and you’ve got lift off.
Have this happen a couple of times and you’re hooked, man. Like me, man.
I’ve been hooked for years, man. . . .
but it doesn’t rule my life,
. . . . man.