Jack Takes Over
After Jack’s solo, he brought the tempo down, but not in the jazz feel we had been playing. He laid down a kind of Bitch’s Brew slow funk groove, which was completely unexpected. But that was Jack, and it was a testament to his spontaneity, trust, and creativity.
I resisted the urge to come in right away over that vamp. I didn’t play. Piano players get excited, nervous, or over-enthusiastic. We want to play. But that impulse can destroy a very fine musical moment. It was almost like I needed to sit on my hands while the moment unfolded.
As Jack laid down that incredible groove, George came in with the perfect bass line. It was amazing.
I realized we were entering uncharted territory, but it was musically secure because we were all completely together inside that musical moment.
Next, we entered another part of the tune. It was as if we were walking together through the most fascinating rooms within a great mansion. This is the feeling of group spontaneity.
George was playing that funk bass line off of a pedal point and now I came in, not with lines but with chords–three and four note clusters played with my right hand.
I was leaving lots of space. Jack and George were letting it breathe. The music had taken over and we were just following it. That sounds strange, but there was this kind of multiple existence where I was watching it and playing it at the same time. I played just what the music needed because I was listening to it like a sophisticated audience member.
We now had entered this funk vamp set up by Jack, and I got an intuitive feeling telling me that we needed an ending. So, what should I have done? I couldn’t just go V-I or some other cliche. It wasn’t a bebop tune. So I began playing an arpeggiated kind of a chord floating over the time. Of course, Jack and George laid down the ending and I played an arpeggio to end it.