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--- Mar 24 1999 Go to category
Subject: improvising night after night - Pat in MUSICIAN magazine
Category: Improvisation/Soloing
From: musician magazine (usa)

You mentioned how important it is for the Group to develop musical ideas to the full. Doesn't that development continue after the tunes are recorded, to the point where a comping or soloing idea you might have originally improvised becomes a part of the regular composition?

Pat’s Answer:

That certainly can happen, and in the context of a band that's going to do two or three hundred gigs a year, that--not exactly that, but a variation of that--becomes almost a necessity. From 1974 until now, I would guess I've done an average of 200 gigs a year. That's a real different kind of playing than if you were doing a month in the summer and a couple weeks' worth of one-nighters during the rest of the year. If you've got to play every single night, and inevitably that involves a lot of the same tunes, there comes a point where you're improvising, but at the same time it's a subject you've talked about nightly so much that you develop a particular vocabulary; it does change over time, but to change it just for the sake of change is as much a mistake as playing with bad notes or crummy phrasing. I've seen bands playing free that play night after night, and eventually it's kinda like hearing somebody play "Stella" night after night. Of course, there has to be a vocabulary for it. It's natural--there has never been a musician who could TOTALLY reinvent the way he/she plays 200 nights a year. or even 2 or 3 nights a year, for that matter.