Roscoe Mitchell Interviewed Ahead of Pittsburgh Performance

Source: Pittsburgh Current.

As Roscoe Mitchell explains some of his current music, which aims to blur the line between composition and improvisation, he cites one of his rules to illustrate his methods: “Don’t follow. If you know your part and I don’t know mine, I’m sitting around waiting to see what you’re going to do,” he says by phone from Portugal. “By the time I do that, I’m behind. And that… would be like being behind on a written piece of music.”

The saxophonist has broken new musical ground several times over throughout his career. He was an early member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, a group of Chicago composers and performers who devised a forum for modern works that didn’t fit with the city’s diverse jazz scene. After more than half a century, the AACM continues to nurture new talent. What began as the Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble became the Art Ensemble of Chicago, a world-revered band.