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Jazz Improvisation with Clayton Cameron


In preparation for his conducting debut, Scott Yoo sends Stewart Goodyear to practice his improvisation exercises with Clayton Cameron.


Scott Yoo: To finish Stewart's improv exercises, I asked the great drummer Clayton Cameron to meet him and Sue backstage that night to expand his ideas about rhythm.

Stewart Goodyear: Clayton, I feel like a square for saying this, but bravo! That's the classical word for wow!

Clayton Cameron: Oh thank you!

SG: It was just incredible!

SG: Because you know I come from a world where classical musicians stopped improvising even though that was one of the traditions in Mozart and Beethoven's time.

They were always interpreting exactly what was on the page and nothing else.

CC: Right right. Well you know I remember hearing an interview with Herbie Hancock where he felt he played the wrong chord and Miles Davis just heard the chord and then played this beautiful melody over it.

So what was you know considered a mistake by Herbie at the moment was fine with Miles.

So it's like even the mistakes can be used you know so it's not taboo.

SG: That's another thing that's foreign to the classic word is like you made a mistake don't do that again!

CC: Yeah because sometimes guys say you know even my best stuff is when I make my mistakes.

SG: I like that so much!

CC: That's a different philosophy.

Sue: That's excellent!

CC: Anyway we should try it.

Sue: Yeah, let's try it. Let's give it a whirl.

CC: You can do it, Stewart!

Sue: You can do it!


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