What can everyday aesthetics teach us about jazz practice?


  • Michael Fletcher Birmingham City University/Royal Birmingham Conservatoire




jazz practice, jazz performance, phenomenology


The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains how the evolving field of everyday aestheticsseeks to offer an alternative to the 'tendency to equate aesthetics with the philosophyof art' by arguing that aesthetic experiences are present in many aspects of dailylife. Furthermore, the article highlights the fact that often what counts as an everydayactivity for one person might be much more unusual for another. Consequently, despitethe fact that there are some activities that are largely common to all of us-eating, sleeping-it should also be acknowledged that context plays a vital role in the discourse onthe everyday. In this article I will examine how concepts that arise in the discourse oneveryday aesthetics relate to the understanding of contemporary jazz performance practice.I will focus on how the daily practice and performance of jazz gives rise to a numberof areas of conceptual questioning, and consider how everyday aesthetics might serveas a model for contextualizing the numerous methodological components of jazz performancepractice. Citing examples from the work of historical musicians-Lee Konitzand Steve Lacy-as well as from my own practice, and with reference to the daily activitiesof instrumental study, group rehearsal and repeated performance, I will present areading of jazz performance practice that seeks to challenge conventional distinctionsbetween the artistic and the everyday.

Author Biography

Michael Fletcher, Birmingham City University/Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Dr Mike Fletcher is a saxophonist, composer and postdoctoral researcher atRoyal Birmingham Conservatoire/BCU. He locates his practice within the fields of jazzand improvised music, and his main research interests are the creative processes andconceptual implications of composing for improvising jazz musicians.


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How to Cite

Fletcher, M. (2020). What can everyday aesthetics teach us about jazz practice?. Jazz Research Journal, 13(1-2), 33–50. https://doi.org/10.1558/jazz.38246