Here's an e-mail I received from Paul Harper, a former student of Rich Perry. This should be in the comments section of my 'Rich Perry- Eating standards for lunch', but I felt it warranted it's own post.
In my post 'Innovation or Emulation' I described a similar exercise as Rich has his students do-
"The chord/scale approach has a tendency to lock you into playing only the scale notes over a chord. The scale should only be thought of as consonant notes. All twelve notes should be available to you over any given chord. The non-scale notes each have their own 'tonal-gravity'. They only sound wrong if you don't know where they want to resolve to and you don't deal with them correctly. It's a good exercise to sit down at a piano and play chords while experimenting with every note over each chord. Listen to where each 'avoid' note wants to resolve. Try things like a major third over a minor seventh, a natural 11th over an altered dominant chord, a natural fifth over a half-diminished chord. Be thorough about this process and take notes as you go. Once you realize that you can play anything over anything you will be able to relax a little. You won't be so worried about playing wrong notes because you will have the skills to adapt to any possibility."
Here is what Paul had to say about studying with Rich Perry:
"I just noticed your comment referring to my posting about Rich Perry. I took some lessons with him about 8-10 years ago. He really emphasized just a couple of things:
Learn the 'classic' bop resolutions (#9, b9, 1; etc, etc, etc). There are a number of Parker oriented resolutions that drive an immense amount of this music. Rich was really big on knowing them in every key, and really making sure you heard them. Then, be able to hear any note against any harmony. He would put on one of the Abersold 2-5-1 exercise discs, and play interesting notes against the progressions. It was really about hearing novel ways to resolve. My comment about resolving to the #11 stems from this. Rich has such big ears, he hears, I believe, the resolution to #11 and other more exotic resolves as perfectly good options. Most important perhaps is 'not resolving'. You hear Rich hang over the resolution point a lot, creating and elongating the harmonic tension. He's someone who makes this work better than most anyone. What we didn't talk about (not sure if you can) is his uncanny way of making all this work in, to my ears, his uniquely lyrical way. We also didn't discuss phrasing all that much. His phrases and rhythmic placement are another reason he sounds so unique.