Modern stylist and improvisor
Biscoe is joined by Liam Noble, Fred T Baker and Tony Marsh to form the Harry Beckett Quintet which perform in the Ellen Terry Building, Coventry University, on August 23, at 5pm.
A hypothetical line of descent from Old Comedy's trickster would move through the domesticated New Comedy of Plautus and Terence where the trickster reappears as crafty slave and master schemer, to the clever servant in Renaissance learned comedy, to his reincarnation as commedia's chief improvisor
, the Arlecchino.
Yokoshi, a riveting performer, peeks into the imperial courts of Asia, while Heggen, a master improvisor
from Holland, gives us a glimpse into the royal courts of Europe.
It is only when he speaks spontaneously, almost unwillingly, at Tod Clifton's funeral that he finds a voice for speaking like a jazz improvisor
, and it individuates not only himself but the members of his audience, which now become a community rather than a mass.
Among them: God is like a master theatrical improvisor
in live performance, amplifying and embroidering each theme as it presents itself; like a choreographer composing steps in tandem with the creative insights of the whole dance troupe@ like a composer of a fugue, starting with a simple line of melody and weaving a complex structure by endlessly folding it back upon itself; like a jazz player, inspired by the spirit of the audience and the night to improvise riffs upon a basic melody; like a designer who sets the rules of a game that includes wild cards and then lets it play.
The most riveting performance clips include Polish film composer and improvisor
Krystof Komeda, British singer Norma Winstone early in her career, Dizzy Gillespie jamming with Serbian trumpeter Dusko Goykovich, Norwegian trumpeter Arne Henriksen playing two horns simultaneously, and the Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson in duet with bassist Anders Jormin, over which we see panoramic tracking shots of fjords and glaciers.
The son of an Eton-schoolmaster has been the doyen of the music form here in the UK for years but he is also an articulate wit and improvisor
as his long-running radio show, I'm Sorry, I Haven't A Clue, would testify.
But spontaneous improvisor
that he was, as Cecilia de Torres states, "the problems inherent to specific, imposed subjects .