Andy Summers: A mirror of where you are
Cris Cohen: Last fall, I interviewed Billy Cobham and he described his playing in jazz and drumming as he always thinks of it as he's writing a letter to someone. And so that seems to be what you were talking about.
Andy Summers: It is. It's a narrative, if it comes from the right place. I go out now and I usually play with the trio. I stand there for a couple of hours on the stage and I play these beautiful tunes, and then I improvise. Basically, improvisation is on the spot composition. But playing jazz like that and trying to play deep, it's a real mirror of where you are at the time. What's in your head, your physicality, the room, how you feel about your life… and it really mirrors all these things. And that's what I love about it. There's a truth to it. That when you really just stand there and you're just trying to play naked in the space, then it's like you're really attaching to sort of a life process.
It's some hard stuff to talk about. It sounds mystical, which is what it is in a way. Words cannot describe it. Except when it's happening, at the right level, you connect to something. I don’t want to get a bit religious, but it is sort of talking to a higher power or something. You do get connected in a way that is deep and hard to talk about, but is very satisfying. Like when you connect with a score, it doesn't happen every time, but in the really great moments, when it's happening like that, it's a wonderful thing.
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