Racer Sessions

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

Wally Shoup - February 27th, 2011


Free Playing at the Racer Sessions

Having been inspired by American Free Jazz and European Free Improvisation of the late 60s/early 70s, I’ve devoted my entire music life to the practice of free playing or spontaneous music making, as I prefer to think of it.

Every situation is approached as unique, and it is the improviser’s goal to make or, better yet, find the music unique to that moment in time. Though parameters and structures are not pre-planned, they present themselves as the music and musicians respond to one other. And, though free-flowing and expansive, the music aspires to an elevated sense of logic and cohesion.

It’s a game that can be played by anyone, regardless of musical training, but particularly rewards those who have honed their listening skills and internalized various ideas and strategies regarding form.

The first set will be a series of free improvisations by my trio w/ Mark Ostrowski (drums) and Paul Kemmish (bass).

For the second set, anyone who wants to engage in free playing w/ any of us is invited. I’ll choose the configurations of players and the duration of each piece. Otherwise, it will be a wide-open set – celebrating the Moment and the beauty of free improvisation.

Here’s a nice quote from Henry Kuntz, a Bay Area musician and writer, clarifying the confusion that sometimes surrounds the nature of “free” in free playing:

“It [free improvisation] is the most open method, one that suggests that while it is possible to play almost anything, what that "anything” is will be determined in the moment of musical transaction.“

-Wally Shoup