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"It always seems impossible until it's done."
wiki ~ Nelson Mandela

A bit of improv history. In the jazz styles, which at one time was America's popular or 'pop' music, the historical role of improvisation is quite varied. Initially evolving from the often fully written out 'ragtime' works of the 1880's, of which we have scores and piano rolls for today, we see the emergence of the collective group improv of the dixieland styles of 1900. As things evolved over the next decade or so, from within this group format, we evolve to the featured soloist backed up by a rhythm section. We see this on into the 1920's or so and forward from there, as new 'stars' emerge and the recording business and making records takes off.

Once here, we then begin see the rise of the individual 'star of the show', headlining the bill. Louis Armstrong is among the first of these stars, and leading by example, set the standard for fronting a band, very often as a singer / interpreter of the words of a song followed by an improvised solo based closely on the melody. Backed by various rhythm section combinations, this format helps found our improvisatory Americana version of stating a theme (melody of the song) and then creating variations of it. What starts out as working over a melody will gradually come to include working out ideas from the overall form and harmonic structure of the chosen song. And from the one soloist format to multiple soloists from within the group; horns, bass drums etc.

“You fear the least what you know the most about.”

wiki ~ John Glenn

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