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Opened in 2008, The Dirty Dog is one of the premiere destinations in the United States for world class Jazz and cuisine. It combines the charm of an English-style pub with intimacy and meticulous attention to detail and hospitality.
The Dirty Dog brings together the musicians and guests in a way that creates a lasting impression and desire to come back.
June 9, 2017




“I feel that Jazz improvisation is the ultimate.   You have to create on the spot, the essence of this music.”


Sonny Rollins       Photo: Wikipedia



One of the defining elements of Jazz is the use of improvisation. It’s what sets Jazz apart from Classical music in particular, a genre Jazz is often compared to. Classical music, for the most part, is written out and notated.



In fact, early Classical music of the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods encouraged players to use improvisation, which was later discouraged and phased out in preference for evaluating performances by how well they followed the written score.



Jazz’s roots come from folk forms such as the Blues, and traditional African music, and many others. Most folk forms are usually improvisational by nature, – encouraging self-expression.



Improvisation in Jazz is what makes it so exciting to listen to because each performance is created extemporaneously – fresh with new material as no two performances are alike.



Jazz improvisation employs the use of ornamentation, creative interaction between the musicians, and individual interpretation.
As musicians are composing “in real time” they are reinterpreting various compositional elements. This is a major component of a musician’s solo in Jazz.



For example, the melody might be ornamented by using different chords and rhythms. The instrumentation might be altered as different instruments are used to play melodies and harmonies in new ways. The tempo could be slower or faster. These are just some of the devices musicians use.



Each time a piece is played also reflects the current mood of the performer, especially in improvisation. They need to know how to express these creative ideas effectively, so they make sense within the structure of the piece, which contains an emotional component or message that is shared between the artists and the audience. This is all done in a matter of seconds as improvisation is music created “in the moment”.



Listen for each artist’s take on improvisation whenever you’re listening to Jazz – whether it’s live or on record. It will take you deeper into the music.



scottGWINNELL detroitmusicfact


Pianist, Scott Gwinnell at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe.


Photo: Detroit Music Factory



Listen for these factors when enjoying pianist Scott Gwinnell at the Dirty Dog next Wednesday and Thursday, June 14-15. Scott is a talented, experienced improvisor who knows a lot about composition and musical structure. His playing is very melodic with lush chords and beautiful arpeggios used to embellish the music’s framework.





Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a trained pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM.





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