Was watching an old favourite, Plug 'n' Play, and was thrilled to find, right at the very beginning, another old favourite: Bill Evans' liner notes for Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue. In it, he says:
"There is a Japanese visual art in which the artist is forced to be spontaneous. He must paint on a thin stretched parchment with a special brush and black water paint in such a way that an unnatural or interrupted stroke will destroy the line or break through the parchment. Erasures or changes are impossible. These artists must practice a particular discipline, that of allowing the idea to express itself in communication with their hands in such a direct way that deliberation cannot interfere.
The resulting pictures lack the complex composition and textures of ordinary painting, but it is said that those who see well find something captured that escapes explanation.
This conviction that direct deed is the most meaningful reflections, I believe, has prompted the evolution of the extremely severe and unique disciplines of the jazz or improvising musician. "
It's an interesting thought, one that is compelling in its directness.
But I wonder how an opposite perspective - that, for instance, expressed in Pamuk's My Name Is Red , that all art is already an act of memory; that constant practice produces the remembered form, an almost Platonic ideal - would work with jazz improvisations. Perhaps they're not very different; Evans talks about the artist who is 'forced to be spontaneous'.
Don't you love the sound of 'direct deed is the most meaningful reflection'? The rest of the liner notes here.