And there you have it. Like Lester, I too am hungry to hear a story told through an instrument. Not a checklist of technical achievements or a resume of ready-for-use phrases, but a well-told narrative that makes its point through melody, balance and economy, and then jumps on the fastest stagecoach out of Dodge.
With this blog I salute improvisers, old and new, who know how to get in, get the job done and then leave before being begged to. Style has nothing to do with it. The same sense of the beautiful as well as the importance of organization and frugality can be found in the very best players from turn-of-the-century New Orleans to today's budding jazz visionaries.
Nonetheless, it's a rarer quality than might be expected and getting rarer all the time. I want to applaud this sensitivity to the poetic wherever I hear it, be it in an older recording or on a bandstand last night.
Can you tell me a story?