Progress is impossible without a willingness to take chances. Risk is not an option in jazz or for any company that wants to be solvent ten years from now. In jazz we mitigate the risk of change through creative destruction: extracting the core values from successful past initiatives and using them to reinvent the idea in constantly changing contexts.
In the jazz ensemble we are constantly faced with the risk of innovation, of having to come up with our own musical ideas in real time and in collaboration with each other. So how do you get people to do that? [In jazz], we are actually composing together in real time. We’re minimizing the structure. We simplify the score. We’re taking only what’s essential to coordinate us in time and intention. We’re letting go of all of the other rules and protocols that keep us from responding to the unexpected IN WHATEVER WAY WE NEED without losing our coherence and our coordination together.
We work within a zone of improvisational freedom where trust and accountability are critical factors. Jazz is a process in which risk is a resource rather than a condition that limits our capability.