i was working on some stuff and trying to "sound like" some of the things i've been listening to and started thinking about this-re:getting into somebody's style and becoming a competent interpreter of it using transcription/analysis vs. trying to come up with an approximation of it by "stretching" your present style using your ears to get it to sound like this influence(for ex.you play in a bop-based style now but you've been listening to mccoy and other early-60's influences,working with quartals,pentatonics,etc and have started to use them in your current approach)..anybody dealing with this kind of thing?
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for me, there are two factors involved.
1-how much do you love what you're imitating?
2-how deeply do you understand what you're imitating?

if both of those are not high, then what you do will probably sound pretentious.  i love gene harris, and i don't even care if people just call me a copycat and i lack a true identity and what not.  but if i don't understand at a deep level what he's doing, then i won't sound good, i'll sound like a gutless wannabe.  of course there are a lot of guys who are more skilled than i that would still sound pretentious trying to play like gene because they probably don't like him all that much.  and i've heard plenty of examples.  there are people who dismiss him as being just a blues-player and not playing as "important" music as thelonius monk, but when they try to imitate the supposedly simpler music, it sounds like crap, because they don't love it...nor do they really understand it.
i guess that's a long-winded philosophical answer that doesn't really help.  i'll put it this way, i would be embarrassed to imitate or mimick another person's style unless i really loved that style.  then, i would work on trying to understand it as well as possible.  without the love, don't even try.  because even if you play it badly, but you love, people will see and hear the passion and enjoy it.
well said, superboy!

i begin to be comfortable to improvise bebop lines but i do rootless four notes left hand voicings which apparently doesn't fit with the real bebop style. according to bebop jazz piano (john valerio), shell voicings (1-7, 1-3)is appropriate to bebop and rootless 4 notes voicing is more like post-bop...

but i don't care.

i enjoy doing it my way...
and i play shell voicings in the left: post-bop scales and voicings in the right!
i thought you check it out verbatim first, or at least get it in your head that way, and then you use that to fake it, meaning some how infuse it with whatever it is you want to play.  or maybe even sprinkle it in between other things.  i guess it goes back to what superboy said tho, if you just want to use it as spice, it may be fine to just learn the overall contour of the target style.  but if you're basing your identity (partially) on it, you better know it inside out, and then some.

but either way, i think it's a good thing to know exactly what you're doing.  ever tried faking through life?  doesn't work all the time.  haha.
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