Prolific prog bands, improv, etc

Here’s a good question: why is it that the more popular prog bands these days (I’m thinking Flower Kings, Spock’s Beard, etc) are also the prog bands that are the most prolific? If Anekdoten or Solaris cranked ‘em out like Marillion or even Dream Theater, would the quality of the music decline? Does increased popularity result in increased pressure to mass-produce music? Well, the answer to that one might be obvious to some, but “increased popularity”, prog-speaking, isn’t saying much. Still, one wonders.

On a similar track, where the hell has Pink Floyd been? I actually liked The Division Bell quite a bit - solid atmospheric pop kind of stuff - and I got excited about all those rumors a couple years ago about a 1999 album and tour. Those rumors were obviously way off-base. I wonder if they’ll ever do anything more, or is it “out with a whimper” for this great band?

A recent gem by “Neal” on rec.music.classical, on the topic of pop musicians composing classical music:

Richard Schultz wrote in message <86k95o$duk$3@cnn.cc.biu.ac.il>…
>I would say that Paul McCartney has no classical *training* (and it
>shows); but he has had a long-standing interest in classical music

I have no medical training, but I’ve long been interested in doctors. May I
remove your spleen?

And some interesting responses: “I bet there is a lot of good music created by folks without musical training. In fact, in the last hundred years, there hasn’t been much worthwhile music created by the musically educated. I don’t think you can say there are great uneducated spleen removers.” (Jim Curtis) “And do authors require training before authoring? … It’s a shame that some popular musicians fall prey to the fallacy, that to be serious and good and lasting they must write this sort of music.” (Josh Kortbein)

Some thoughts on improvisation, spurred on by a jazz class I had today. Why isn’t there more collective improv in jazz? Does collective improv exist in any significant form outside the avant-garde, psych/jam-rock, and some obscure rock genres (and King Crimson)? Is there an “improvisational music” genre? These aren’t open-ended questions; surely someone has the answers. Also, I’ve always wondered why there isn’t more solo improv in rock music - or maybe there is, I just don’t know it.

Digging back into the old “improv in prog” thread from rec.music.progressive, I found this interesting little debate:

dtohir@aol.com (DTohir) writes:
> >I think (was it David Gilmour?) hit the nail on the head about improv:
> >”You get as many things wrong as you get right.”
>
> This would only describe an exceptionally poor improviser.

Then again, an improviser who only gets things wrong very rarely obviously isn’t trying hard enough.

Bye,
Matt [Barber]

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