On Blogging, Tennis and Miles Davis

3 Jan

“I’ll play it first and tell you what it is later” – Miles Davis

… and so it happens I’ve decided to welcome the new year with a brand new blog.

It’s not exactly a new year’s resolution (I call them January resolutions since they’re usually only valid until early February), but rather a new writing challenge, which randomly begins with 2011.

Naturally, I’ll write a lot about music in general and Jazz in particular, and will also touch upon some other topics of personal interest like Literature, Art, Food and more.  However, that Miles Davis quote above sums it up the best. Just as if I’m playing a solo, I’ll be moving from note to note, phrase to phrase, or in this case, post to post. Keith Jarrett once said (I’m paraphrasing) that his best performances occur when he knows nothing in advance about what he’s about to play. I feel the same way.

Fred Hersch, one of my most inspiring teachers, often compares Jazz playing to a Tennis match. Meaning, Jazz is not Chess; You can’t calculate your moves in advance. When that yellow ball is rapidly approaching, you can’t busy yourself with thinking three moves ahead, or you’ll end up dropping the ball. Instead, you play the ball that’s in front of you, and keep rolling.

In a jazz solo, that would be playing what comes now, then moving to the next thing, and allow your intuition to create the larger structure. The definition follows the act – “I’ll play it first and tell you what is later.”

If that attitude works for Tennis and Jazz, it should work for my blog as well. I hope you’ll enjoy spending time here! Your comments, ideas and insights are truly welcome.


7 Responses to “On Blogging, Tennis and Miles Davis”

  1. ruslan January 3, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    Totally man! Great comparison actually. Except perhaps that in tennis there are less objectives to be accomplished in the real-time-process..? While in a jazz solo we have to think long term, and think short term, and maintain a “balance of tension and release” in 84,000 musical areas (parameters) at the same time etc… while interacting with the band.. while keeping the form.. while checking out the brunette in the 2nd row :-p

    • omerklein January 3, 2011 at 11:48 am #

      I hear you Ruslan! Although a Tennis player might disagree with us.. any ball players out there?

  2. Barak Weiss January 3, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    But tennis is way cooler with those white outfits. How about wearing tennis cloths for your next gig? It’ll blow everybody’s mind!

  3. Haggai Cohen Milo January 3, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    Nice first one my friend, as you said, I’m sure I will enjoy spending time here.

    AS for the gushing discussion about tennis and such, I think jazz is like backing a cake; you want it to taste good and look nice, but the most important is that whoever eats it end up in a better mood… Vetachshevu Al Ze hahaha (zjozho) (-;
    Happy New Year

  4. Ralf January 3, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    Maybe next time I fly B.B. I will ask him what he feels about it Omer, but I´m afraid he´s not too familiar with jazz….c u next lesson….Ralf

  5. Jonathan Kantor January 5, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    Great post Omer. Really looking forward to reading your thoughts.

  6. Sariel January 5, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    Omer !
    Kol hakavod!
    your work is inspiring !
    I wish you all the success !
    happy new year,

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