This one has the potential to get really heated - which I hope it doesn't - but it's been on my mind a lot lately, and I wanted to get some views from outside my isolated little world. This year for whatever reason has been my busiest playing year ever so far, and I'm getting to play with a lot of great players on a fairly regular basis. But one thing that has been missing in this crazy schedule I've been keeping has been the opportunity to sit down with the people I'm playing with and actually rehearse arrangements of the tunes we're playing on all of these gigs. I am finding that - even with great players - the music is starting to suffer from "genericitis" because of the lack of rehearsal time, and this gets to be kind of a drag at times. Part of the problem is the obvious one: everyone is too busy to rehearse, the people hiring for the gigs don't seem to care, so and so just had a baby, etc..., but part of it is also a mindset thing - some players (even great ones) seem to feel that jazz is more "honest" somehow if you just play and see what happens, letting the music just "go where it wants to go" each time you play. I think this is fine in principle, and is an absolute must as a skill to develop as a working musician, BUT.....I also feel that there is too much "generic jazz" out there and that this is one of the things that makes a lot of "layman" listeners tune out when jazz is being played in public. I mean honestly, when you're playing for three hours, it makes sense to mix things up a bit and set up some different textures from the beginning of the tune every so often. I know that the great groups/artists/albums I listen to the most seem to make each tune have its own distinct flavor as apart from the one you just heard and the one you're about to hear. I hear a lot of people who don't really care for jazz say, when asked why, "because it all sounds the same...tune after tune". I also hear this same rap coming from jazz musicians when asked why they don't dig pop/rock music, and it really cracks me up because in a way, both groups of people are right from their perspective! Why shouldn't more jazz musicians work up more individualized tunes/arrangements which lead the sound away from the swing/latin/ballad/waltz sequence? Sometimes I feel as if the personality is being sucked out of jazz by the mindset of "let's just play, man...call a tune". (Can you tell that I haven't been able to rehearse with my trio since the pianist had his baby? Does it show?) Should jazz musicians (in general) spend more time arranging before playing? Thoughts on the issue?