A study published in the open source science journal PLoS One investigates the neural processes of jazz improvisation. Johns Hopkins neuroscientists put piano players in a fMRI scanner with a special keyboard and asked them to perform different five-finger exercises: play a scale, play a melody, and improvise on either the scale or the melody.
As I was scrolling through the offerings at TDF a few weeks ago, I spotted a performance by the McCollough Sons of Thunder Brass Band. Hmmm, I thought I remembered my old friend Michael Cogswell mentioning to me that I ought to check them out. Actually, what he told me was that if I was ever able to hear them, I should cancel everything I could be doing and hie myself hence at oncely.
Steve Martin has just published an autobiography, Born Standing Up, in which he describes how he created his comedic persona by using logic. That was the easy part, next he had to figure out how to sell it to the audience.