What do you look for in your sidemen?
Musical ability and a respect for the legacy and history of the music. I’m looking for someone who understands that you cannot go forward until you look back. Pushing envelopes can be great and significant. But if it’s not rooted, it tends not to have the same substance and integrity.
What is rooted envelope pushing? Which parts of the legacy and history of the music must be respected? Is it possible to create music that has substance and integrity but is not rooted in some tradition?
I don’t mean this to be some sort of poke at Steve Wilson, I like the work of his that I have heard (mostly old Dave Holland and Chick Corea). His answer just made me question my relationship to the tradition. I know I have done my J.J. homework, but I don’t sound much like him these days. Am I disrespecting that tradition? I don’t know the music of Cecil Taylor like I possibly should. Am I disrespecting the free tradition? Is there anything that I can do with substance and integrity?