Racer Sessions

Sundays, 8-10pm at Cafe Racer in Seattle, WA

Abbey Blackwell - April 29, 2012


As many of you may know, I am a primarily classical musician. Someday I want to be in some big orchestra playing Beethoven and Strauss and Mozart and all that stuff. Until about a two years ago, I only did that. I sometimes dabbled in straight ahead jazz, but never improvised, never composed, nothing. So the past few years of attending the Racer Sessions and going to UW have completely changed my outlook on music and how I play, how I like to play, and the music that I enjoy listening to. 

I’m writing all of this because I think it’s important to know where I’m coming from on this piece. I will be playing an unaccompanied piece for double bass which I have based off of a few motives that I think are interesting. I have focused on using these few ideas and expanding on them with different accompaniments and embellishments. As a bassist, I am often relegated to root notes and simple rhythms. I have attempted to use these techniques in my piece, writing a piece from a classical bass player’s perspective. 

Before the jams, I want everyone to think about where they have come from and how they have developed as a musician. Where did you start? Why did you keep playing? Where are you now as a musician? Take these thoughts and use them to your advantage during the improvisations. Tell a story about your journey, interact with other musicians, just as you do in daily life. Expand on other people’s journeys through music as well as your own. Or base an improvisation off of a snapshot from your past. But always make music that you would want to listen to. If you wouldn’t want listen to it, why would anyone else?

That’s a lot to think about, but I encourage you to do it, even in the week preceding. There’s no reason to keep going forward if you don’t know where you’re coming from. Cheesy, but true. See you all on Sunday.