The voice is the most expressive musical instrument and it also is the most directly connected to the creative engine.  Shouldn’t it be the premier instrument for improvisation?  That would be scat.  Indeed scat is the most expressive form of improvisation but it is not very popular.  A trumpet solo carries us along but scat just sounds weird.  Why is that?

The words “scat” and “virtuoso” leave Google cold.

Could it be that a big part of what we appreciate about improvisation is the awesome physical skill that comes from training on an external instrument?  Scatting is too easy.

Could it be akin to the uncanny valley?  Audiences feel uncomfortable watching animated characters that look too similar to real people.  Is scatting too much like singing?

Why are vocalists not using electronics to digitally transform their voice into something that sounds more less like a voice.  Then they could utilize the expressiveness and fluidity of the voice and fool the audience into thinking it was an instrument.  Autotune?

Would it be more attractive if the scat made sense?  Why are there no vocalists who take written lyrics and then improvise them into a melody?

Listen to Clark Terry.

If someone could make a trumpet sound like that they would be heralded as a genius.

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