The following HTML text is provided to enhance online
readability. Many aspects of typography translate only awkwardly to HTML.
Please use the page image
as the authoritative form to ensure accuracy.
MANUFACTURING SYSTEMS: FOUNDATIONS OF WORLD-CLASS PRACTICE
group.” How is this view of jazz helpful in thinking about groups in manufacturing?
SOLOING AND SMALL JAZZ GROUPS
Consider the following statements by jazz artists, and their applicability to the behavior of manufacturing teams:
Dave Holland, a 44-year-old jazz bass player says (Mandel, 1989): “I've always been attracted to jazz's group context. I admire how the soloist works with the rhythm section, how the bass player interacts with the drummer. To me, the music is group music. I want any group I put together to function on that level, where everybody feels they have a place, that they can be themselves, that they can stretch their imaginations and their creative aspirations as far as they are able. So I've always encouraged as much involvement from the musicians as possible. My thing is to create a setting—and I learned this from Miles [Davis]. During the time I played with him he would create the environment for the music, then let the musicians deal with it.”
Jazz drummer and leader Art Blakey says (Rosenthal, 1986): “I try to play in the rhythm section to make the soloist play, make him feel like playing. The rhythm section can make the soloist play over his top, play things he never dreamed he could play, if you get behind him. You can't have a battle up there and see how much you can play, because if you make too much noise behind him, he can 't concentrate on what he wants to play. . . . You got to get out there and push him. When I'm playing for Dizzy [Gillespie] I play one way, if I'm playing with Miles I play another way.”
The jazz drummer Shelley Manne gave an interviewer his definition of jazz musicians (Crow, 1990): “We never play anything the same way once.”
Jim Hall the guitarist says (Balliett, 1986): “Accompanying is hearing the whole texture from top to bottom of the music around you and then fitting yourself into the right place. . . . What you're trying to do is swing, and swinging is a question of camaraderie. You could be playing stiffly, but if everybody is playing that way the group will swing. But if one person is out of sync, is dragging, it feels like somebody is hanging onto your coattails. ”
These quotations from drummers and bass and guitar players identify musicians' attitudes in high-performance jazz groups. In small group improvisation (fewer than eight players), the players must share a commitment to excellence demonstrated through the creativity and imagination of their improvisations. The group conditions must free the players to establish the group cohesion and interdependence of their own contributions. To achieve group excellence, each of the players must be highly skilled on his instru-