Creative tuning at Bohemian Caverns with Joe Morris and friends

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Entertainment,Music,Marie Gullard

Since the age of 17, guitarist Joe Morris has been honing his guitar sound within the context of improvisational jazz. Decades later, his is a fresh approach to formed-on-the-spot melodies -- no two pieces will ever be the same.

He and his trio, William Parker on bass and Marco Eneidi on alto sax, invite audiences to share moments in musical time this Sunday at Bohemian Caverns where most of the music is improvisational -- just as on the myriad albums each member has recorded.

Morris explains it this way: "We have things that sound like us, and when we play together, we listen for melody and we make melody; we listen for rhythm, and we use rhythm; we listen for harmony, and we make harmony. We build form in the process of making the music, and we take solos and we accompany one another."

All of these elements, Morris maintains, are pretty much common practices that people in their musical field do, and these practices are recognizable to listeners who are used to hearing them. Likewise, in inclusionary fashion, there are elements of the music that will sound like one thing or another to anybody who's not used to hearing it. He calls this a rarefied skill; the magic is in the present, then it's gone.

Onstage
Joe Morris Trio
Where: Bohemian Caverns, 2001 11th St. NW
When: 7:00 p.m. Sunday
Info: $15; 202-299-0800; bohemiancaverns.com

"We're using a lot of musical material without using specific musical compositions ... and our own individual skills [are] put to collective use," he explained.

Like witnessing chalk art being created, only to have it washed away by a sudden storm, the music is the present, and the feeling it evokes is the experience.

In addition to recording and performing live, Morris is currently on the faculty at the New England Conservatory in the jazz and improvisational department.

His intention is clear at the Caverns on Sunday and in all of his performances: "I think one of our goals is to get people involved and listening to the music and drawing their own conclusions from it."

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