Conversation: Darcy James Argue, Brad Mehldau, and Anna Webber with Nate Chinen

Conversation: Darcy James Argue, Brad Mehldau, and Anna Webber with Nate Chinen


Fri   Mar   22   2024 - 2:00 PM Regas Square

Wayne Shorter liked to say that “composition was just improvisation, slowed down.” Carla Bley, another musical giant who left us last year, didn’t see it that way at all. So what does it mean to bring an improviser’s instinct and understanding to the table as a composer? And how then does a compositional mindset inform (or transform) the improviser’s art? We’ll explore these ideas, confounding every simple binary, with three self-possessed composers working along the jazz spectrum: Brad Mehldau, a highly influential pianist whose prolific body of work includes a recent solo suite, Fourteen Reveries; Anna Webber, a flutist and tenor saxophonist who has employed a range of musical dialects, most recently the natural harmonics of Just intonation; and Darcy James Argue, a large-ensemble composer-arranger whose Secret Society presses a revitalized the big band tradition into active dialogue with indie-rock, postminimalism and twelve-tone technique. Moderating this discussion is Nate Chinen, editorial director at WRTI and the author of Playing Changes: Jazz For the New Century. 

Knoxville, TN · USA



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