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Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz by Frank Barrett

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CHAPTER FIVE
Jamming and Hanging Out
Learning by Doing and Talking

Jazz musicians live for the jam session. They love to play together, calling out songs for each other, and then hang out afterward to talk about the session and share experiences and insights. A special kind of knowledge transfer takes place during those sessions, one that can’t be replicated in any other way.

I recall, for example, jamming at a local bar in Cleveland with saxophonist-clarinetist Ken Peplowski. He has amazing technique and range; he can play Benny Goodman solos as well as Charlie Parker and Sonny Stitt at high velocity. Often, he would call songs at a tempo that was simply too fast for me to play with any comfort, but that was the tempo Peplowski called. So I ...

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