|ACOUSTIC WORKS||TRANS-IDIOMATIC IMPROVISATION|
|I love jazz. I like to listen to jazz a fair amount, but I am particularly enthusiastic about playing jazz. The swing feeling of jazz is important, but even more critical to me is the idea of improvisation. There is something so invigorating about improvisation. As a listener, the minute is divided into seconds. But as a player, each second is divided into a million fractions, each one a moment of reflection on the immediate and distant past, each one a reaction to a newly updated musical context, each one an opportunity to move in an infinite number of directions, each one stepping into the future and rendering it the present. Every moment necessitates a decision, and each decision is a manifestation of desire or restraint, a communion with or opposition to history, an aesthetic statement. In its own small but essential way, every decision transforms our culture. There are millions of these moments in every second. The spontaneity of jazz is my endorphin rush.
Jazz is also a rich tradition of bountiful heritage. But it is a tradition that demands evolution and broadness of creative response. When this is forgotten, jazz changes from a tradition to a bit of preserved history.
In September, 1999 the trio performed a concert at Mississippi State University that was the first Mississippi arts event broadcast live over the Internet. (The concert is archived and can be viewed at http://concert.msstate.edu) We work together with jazz trumpeter Scott Bauer in a quartet configuration too. The quartet has performed at the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico and completed a successful tour in the Czech Republic.
At present I am playing jazz standards and original compositions with my father, Robert Applebaum of Chicago, in the Applebaum Jazz Piano Duo. In the fall of 2000 we first got together at Stanford University to rehearse and see if the duo would work. To our delight we found enormous artistic common ground and a mutual sense of swing. (Indeed, the apple does not fall far from the tree.) Since then we have completed tours in Minnesota and Oregon, and finished our first CD recording: The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree (Innova CD565).