1st Edition

Interaction, Improvisation, and Interplay in Jazz

By Robert Hodson Copyright 2007
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    Interaction, Improvisation, and Interplay in Jazz Performance offers a new and exciting way to listen to and understand jazz. When describing a performance, most jazz writers focus on the improvised lines of the soloist and their underlying harmonic progressions. This approach overlooks the basic fact that when you listen to jazz, you almost never hear a single line, but rather a musical fabric woven by several musicians in real time. While it is often pragmatic to single out an individual solo line, it is important to remember that an improvised solo is but one thread in that fabric; and it is a thread supported by, responded to, and responsive of the parts being played by the other musicians in the group.

    Interaction, Improvisation, and Interplay in Jazz Performance explores the process of player interaction in jazz, and the role this interaction plays in creating improvised music, including:


    • jazz improvisation through theory and analysis
    • musical roles, behaviours and relationships
    • harmony, interaction and performance


    Interaction, Improvisation, and Interplay in Jazz Performance will appeal to students of jazz history, composition, and performance, as well as to the general jazz audience.

    1. Jazz Improvisation: Theory, Analysis, Context, and Process, Musical Roles and Behaviours, Musical Relationships within the Rhythm Section  2. Harmony and Interaction, Basic Harmonic Interaction, Figuring the Blues, Generating Jazz Harmony  3. Form and Interaction, Turnarounds and Breaks, Common Forms  4. Breaking Down the Boundaries: Steps Toward Free Jazz, Bill Evans’s "Autumn Leaves", Miles Davis’s "Flamenco Sketches", Ornette Coleman’s "Chronology", "Free Jazz" and "Ascension", Coda, Endnotes, Recordings Cited


    Robert Hodson is Assistant Professor of Music at Hope College, where he teaches music theory and composition. He has previously held teaching positions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Michigan State University, and has taught courses in music theory, musicianship, keyboard skills, jazz improvisation as well as private piano and jazz piano lessons. He has presented research at the annual conferences of the International Association of Jazz Educators and the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, and has published in Jazz Research Proceedings. As an active jazz performer, Robert has performed with many great musicians including trumpeter Marcus Belgrave and bassist Richard Davis.