Friday, May 4, 2018

Donald Trump is not a jazz musician

From an Axios item:

Sources close to Trump repeat the cliché that he wants to run the White House like the Trump Organization — an unstructured family business where he woke most days unsure of what lay ahead, and ran his business like a series of jazz improv sets.
Such comparisons are an insult to improvising musicians, who know what they’re doing. They may be working from a set list (of “tunes”). Or they may be engaged in collective free improvisation. Either way, they’re always working with a high degree of sympathetic understanding, attentive to and responsive to fellow players.

I’ll quote something I wrote last year:
There is a marked difference between a resourceful, quick-thinking, practiced improviser and a would-be tough guy who flies by the seat of his pants. We should be careful not to equate improvisation with our president’s reckless bluster.
And by the way, in jazz it’s improvisation, not improv. Jazz is not a comedy club.

comments: 2

Anonymous said...

I always thought of jazz improvisation requiring you to understand music especially different jazz styles. Looking at the definition of jazz on Wikipedia, they note that jazz has characteristics of swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms, and improvisation.

And yes, it is not a comedy club!


Michael Leddy said...

I think of improvisation as something like speaking a language, knowing how to say things in ways that make sense. Not just making stuff up! :)