It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
A jazz improvisation is like a palimpsest in sound. Beneath the music that reaches our ears lies a theme that simultaneously inspires and constrains the performer. From time to time traces may appear on the music's surface that, like ghostly pentimentos, provide us with clues to the improviser's underlying conception of the theme. As the soloist weaves melodic lines that unfold dynamically in time, we may glimpse signs of the static, cyclical form that is his "model,' or "referent." An awareness of the omnipresent model is a sine qua non of competent performance -- and a vital, if not essential, element of informed listening -- in most jazz styles that emerged between 1920 and 1950.