Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Bass-less Trio

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posted on 2021-11-12, 11:01 authored by Hopkins, Timothy John

Miles Davis asserts in his autobiography, that "a great artist needs to be able to stretch" [Davis, Troup, 1990]. While I may not a great artist, I aspire to make art with my music, and in my own musical journey I have been interested in trying out new ideas. Jazz musicians, because of their various skills (and in particular, in the art of improvisation) find themselves straddling musical boundaries and genres, just to pay the rent. In my own projects however, this musical adroitness was born just as much out of artistic curiosity as it was necessity, leading me to compose and perform in a variety of contexts and styles for a broad range of instrumentation. These contexts and styles include: duos for saxophone and piano accordion; Bach sonatas with string ensembles; improvising live dance music with DJs; organ trios; in electronica contexts; art and poetry collaborations. The need for creativity has expressed itself in all of my work, to varying degrees. On reflection, it's the need to create something new and fresh out of work and ideas that are already explored to some extent. This desire is consistent with the jazz legacy I have inherited. In much the way Louis Armstrong began transforming popular songs into jazz vehicles, Charles Mingus took ideas from older African American musical traditions and transformed them to offer a fresh perspective on those traditions, and Miles Davis borrowed ideas from rock and soul music to pioneer new directions in jazz during the 1960s and 1970s, I too am looking for new avenues of expression for jazz musicians.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Music

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

New Zealand School of Music


Meehan, Norman