IMPROVISATIONS

I've been improvising my whole life. The best of my improvisations are as good as my written compositions, with clear themes that reoccur and evolve as the piece comes out. (This can be a bit frustrating, as creating a five minute improv takes precisely five minutes, whereas composing a five minute piece takes at least five weeks.)  The feeling I experience in the midst of a superb improv is indescribable. Almost like surfing, I feel as if I'm being carried along by an enormous power, somehow both inside me and from somewhere else. Often when I'm playing for for an audience and announce that the next piece will be an improvisation, people will come up to me afterward and ask what the name of that last piece was, or even who composed it.  They may be disappointed to hear that it only existed as long as I was playing it and will never be heard again.

 

With this in mind, I've gone on occasion to a recording studio to record improvisations.  The last time I did so was in 2007, when I went six times to a recording studio, each time recording some six to eight improvs.  I've selected the best improvs from those sessions and present them here, with each day's work contained in a separate album.  These can be downloaded free of charge.

This third album needs some explanation. When I showed up at the recording studio, my producer suggested that this day's session focus on the seven chakras of the human body. When I improvise, I usually start with a completely blank mind, but this time I followed his suggestion. I thought of each chakra in turn before starting the next improv. I found the results rather surprising in places. There's no accounting for taste, perhaps, when it comes to the subconscious. At the end, my producer suggested I do one more for the road, as it were, so that's the "Bonus Track". Of the seven chakra improvs, some came out better than others, but I didn't want to have an album with only five or six of the seven chakras, so the whole session is included here. Frankly, the Bonus Track is one of my favorite tracks.

 © 2020 by Robert Lawrence Cohen