【英日対訳】ミュージシャン達の言葉what's in their mind




The "insanity" of doing more than one (musical) thing  

by Ted Rosenthal  

Copyright 1996   








TR: What about a young player in these neo--conservative camps who might say, " I love Bud Powell, I want to play a Bud Powell tune kind of like the way he played it." How would you compare that to you playing Mozart (with great respect to the score). Is there any validity to wanting to play (jazz) with some looking back?   




KJ: Sure there's validity there, but Bud Powell didn't write something down to the detailed extent that it could be delivered intact to a future generation. What the emulation has to be, for that to continue, is to somehow understand what in life would bring up such intensity. So with Mozart, while it helps immensely if a player can do that -- because of how intense he must have been -- it's not a mandatory thing. It is mandatory with Bud. You can't take Bud with you, but you can take Mozart with you. The article I wrote for Musician had a quote in it, "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise: Seek what they sought" (Basho). I'm not following in the footsteps of Mozart by playing Mozart. Mozart intended somebody to play his music. But if I thought to play like Coltrane would be my goal, then I'm wrong. If I thought to play like anybody was my goal, then it's wrong in jazz. Because the whole survival of jazz depends on there being people who aren't playing like anybody else. That's another thing that's wrong with this Lincoln Center psychology (and) the music they're playing. If they (composers and players) were alive, they'd either walk out or they'd want to play. Ellington would listen and say, "Hey, I don't want to hear that, I want to make new music." Or he'd say, "move over, let me play it."   




It would be like somebody saying, "This is my favorite poet, therefore, I would like to write their poetry." You know how personal poetry is when it's good. No poet in the world is going to want to emulate this guy and think that that will be acceptable to the poetry reader. The only thing that will be acceptable to a real poetry fan is going to be a new voice. And that's true in jazz. It doesn't matter how many guys get together and form a band, and how many people are in the audience, and it doesn't matter how many records they sell. If it's just competent or talented players playing together in a jazz format, it still isn't jazz -- doesn't make jazz. It's bad science. The formula doesn't work. All (you) have to do is hear Miles play three notes on any given recording, and ask yourself if anyone else could do that better...   



It's also a market thing. When time goes on and the imitation is accepted as greater than the original, there's a severe flaw somewhere. When how you play is more important than whether you're really making music, or when how you look sells what you do, then you know we're behind the older times. When we have buzz words, when we have categories, that eliminates the need to talk about it.   



TR: So when you write these articles which obviously are very heartfelt, what is your motivation? Are you trying to call people's attention or change the situation? What makes you write to the Times and what is it that you're hoping to accomplish?   




KJ: Oh well, somebody has to detonate the water. When you're young you need to hear opinions that you wouldn't normally get to hear by hanging out with all the other people who didn't get to hear them. With the piece you're talking about, I just hoped that it would be read by young musicians. I didn't care if it made the young superstars mad. The Musician piece is also for the same purpose. I don't know how to solve the problem, but I do want to alert the people to the fact there is one.   




TR: When I was fourteen or fifteen, I bought a few of your records. When I saw your picture I thought, "I wonder if this guy's white or black."  




KJ: Ornette asked me that way back in the 60s.   




TR: Was there any intention to your appearance? Did you feel you had to fit in with a certain set of people?   




KJ: No. It's how I wanted to look but, I didn't have my hair done, it just grows like that! I had a feeling of closeness to the world that I was a part of, and that world was in a large part black. I think it was just an environmental thing. But I had a hell of a time convincing a few people that I wasn't black. There was one guy who would have gone and done research into my family tree if he had the money to do it. He didn't want it to be true that I was white. {Laughs}   




TR: Why not?   




KJ: Well I shouldn't be able to do that (play jazz) or something like that. Ornette said -- it was more as a joke -- "You sure you're not black, man?" I said, "Yeah. I'm sure." He said, "I don't know." {Laughs}   




TR: A hypothetical question, if you could only do one thing, what would you do?   




KJ: Ha, ha. The problem with that question is if you ask me now and you ask me an hour later, it's probably could be a different answer.   




TR: I know it's flawed.  




KJ: Given the flaws in the question. If I could only do one thing, I'd probably sit with a hand drum in a...   




TR: That wasn't the answer I was expecting, obviously. I meant a jazz trio, (classical) touring, solo (concerts)?   




KJ: Oh, I see. Well see there you go. I'm back to the  





TR: How could you bring out the most of Keith Jarrett?   




KJ: I'm not that impressed with that possibility. That's why I brought up the idea of communication. "We just want to communicate, man." A lot of players say that. To me, as much as I'm considered to have a problem with ego, I think it's often mistaken. I think the real ego problems are from people who think that they know what they're saying when they are saying something else. To think that you are communicating is an egotistical thought. To talk about it sounds like an indulgent thing. That can be an egotistical thing to be indulgent, like you can know more than they do. But the creative process is always one of breaking down what has been built and looking at the elements again. And if you end up building the same thing, I think that's fine. If you end up building a completely different thing, if it's got value and if it's sonic, we'll know that when we hear it. I think people must have a very difficult time with my classical recordings because of what they are waiting to hear that isn't there. And to them it's a subtractive thing. I've known this from before the Goldberg Variations recording.   





What their thinking is... now this to me is egotism. They assume they know who I am by what I've recorded already. To me that's ridiculous. I don't know who anybody is no matter how many recordings they make. So they're the egotists to think that they can do that. But more than that, when you assume things you apply those assumptions on the following act. When you read someone's book and you think it's great, and you buy their next book and instead of getting where they've moved to, you're disappointed because it isn't like the other one. Now the privilege of the arts is that it doesn't have to follow those rules. The rest of life does, you know? You can't come home to your wife and be completely unrecognizable. She won't know who the hell you are! But if you're honest with yourself...   

彼らが(僕のクラシック演奏に)予想していたこと… それは今となっては、僕にとってエゴイズムだ。彼らは僕のこれまでのレコードから、僕のことを理解していると思いこんでいるわけ。僕に言わせれば馬鹿げた話だよ。どんなに沢山レコードを出したところで、その人を理解できるかと言ったら僕にはできない。それが理解できると思う彼らはエゴイストだよ。でもそれ以上に、人は何か思い込みをすると、それをその後の自分の行動に当てはめてしまう。ある人の本を読んで素晴らしいと思って、その人の次の本を買うだろ。するとその人が次に進んだ先を知る代わりに、前のと違うぞってガッカリするわけ。そもそも芸術の良いところは、そんなルールに従う必要がないことなんだ。芸術以外では、ルールに従わなきゃいけないだろ?家に帰って妻に顔を合わせても、まったく自分だと気づいてもらえないなんて事はありえない。でも彼女はきみが誰だか分からなくなるんだぜ!きみが自分に正直になればね… 


When I was in Europe in the 60s, we were playing in Belgium. I remember this vividly because a big change occurred. I was working on finding my voice and selecting what I liked, (and) not liked having in my playing, as everyone tries to do. No one ever told me that that was a nursery step. Most people think that's what you do -- you spend your time trying to find your voice and then you have it, and then you hope to keep it. That night we took a break, it was trio stuff and it was a lot of free improvising. I remember coming back on stage realizing that suddenly for the first time, I could just play the piano and it was because I had found my voice. But trying to keep the voice was like working in the exact opposite direction. You try to find this place that blooms for you. If you find it, it's there. You don't have to say "let's see, if I don't play this, if I play this, oh I shouldn't have played that, because that doesn't sound like me." If that's how you think, then that's how it's going to sound. Then you will never sound like you. But if you just go and play the instrument from the deepest emotion you can feel about what's going on, it's going to be you. I think that's a lesson very few players ever learn but the new generation hasn't even started. They don't even know it's about a voice. They're 200 percent behind.