If you looked at my bucket list, somewhere in the “Unrealistic Expectation” section, there is a short grouping of musicians I would love to play with. Among them is one Elliot Sharp. If that name is unfamiliar,take a few minutes now and Google him. I will wait.
Done? Good. Somehow the fates conspired move humanity in the direction to where my compadre Matthew Evan Taylor ends up teaching at the institution where my “day job” is and becomes an intermittent collaborator of mine in the Improvisatory Arts. He then brings his friend Elliott Sharp to teach a winter term class on improvisation/composition. Part of that course was the concluding concert where the class got to display some of the things they had learned. Part of that concert was a free improvisation by Elliott (clarinet), Matthew (saxophone), fellow musical adventurer Gahlord Dewald (upright bass) and yours truly (Stick and devices). Gahlord and I were invited as delegates from the local improvising music community.
Following that the class joined us on the stage with their instruments and Elliott lead the ensemble in a conducted improvisation. [from the interwebs: “Conducted improvisation is the act of providing a certain degree of instruction for improvisation to musicians in real time. Usually through various gestures.”]. Zappa did this a lot through the years and MY familiarity with approach came from him.
Both pieces were a blast to participate in and I thank E#, MET and the entire class of Composition Today for letting me tag along.