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the infinite art of improvisations

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Thinking In Jazz – The Infinite Art Of Improvisation

by Paul Berliner. A landmark in jazz studies, Thinking in Jazz reveals as never before how musicians, both individually and collectively, learn to improvise. Chronicling leading musicians from their first encounters with jazz to the development of a unique improvisatory voice, Paul Berliner documents both the remarkable creativity and the lifetime of preparation that lies behind the skilled improviser’s every idea. His integration of data on musical development, the rigorous practice and thought artists devote to jazz outside of performance, and the complexities of composing in the moment leads to a new understanding of jazz improvisation as a language, an aesthetic, and a tradition.

The product of more than fifteen years of immersion in the jazz world, Thinking in Jazz combines participant observation with detailed musicological analysis, the author’s experience as a jazz trumpeter, extensive transcriptions of collective improvisations, and, above all, original data from interviews with more than fifty professional musicians. Together, this material provides insight into the production of jazz by great artists like Betty Carter, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, and Charlie Parker. This unprecedented journey to the heart of the jazz tradition will fascinate and enlighten musicians, musicologists, and jazz fans alike.

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