Improv Quote of the Day: The Most Important Thing

English: Bachalpsee in the morning, Bernese Alps

At a Swiss regional workshop, horn virtuoso Ifor James was asked by a young attendee what his warm up was. His response was, “I was afraid that someone would ask that. Warm ups are very personal things, and depend much on the level of the competence of the individual player.”

She then asked, “Well then, what is the first thing that you play when you pick up your horn?”

His response was, “The first thing I play is some kind of a jazz riff, or a variation of a familiar melody. Something that I make up. The most important thing to wake up is our imagination – our creativity”

She then asked, “What if I can’t think of anything to play, or can’t make anything up? What is the best thing to do then?”

His response after a minute of thought was, “Then the best thing to do would probably think about selling your horn. We already have too many people who own horns who have no imagination or creativity.”

–told by Steve Halflich