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Third Stream Music

Karl Coulthard

Published: 2010-07-28

"Third stream" is a term coined to describe music produced through a blending of the first stream (classical music) and the second stream (jazz). This article explores the challenges that the third stream style of music raises for the improvising musician. It focuses primarily on the work of Gil Evans and Miles Davis, highlighting their mastery in the symbiosis of seemingly opposing musical forms.

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Improvisation is, simply put, being and living this very moment. No one can hide in music, and improvising in music is to be truly in this very moment and being completely yourself, with all your qualities and faults. It is probably the most honest state for a human being to be in.

– John McLaughlin in an interview with Daniel Fischlin.