It’s one of the defining elements of jazz.

The art of improvisation is integral to the form, and it’s an essential skill for any musician who plays it. While most musical genres tend to stick to a musical score as it was written by the composer, jazz gives more priority to the interaction and collaboration between performers and their interpretations of a work.

In short: A jazz musician never plays a tune the same way twice.

“Improvisation is the only art form in which the same note can be played night after night but differently each time,” saxophonist Ornette Coleman once said. “It is the hidden things, the subconscious that lets you know you feel this, you play this.”

The history of jazz is filled with famously marvellous soloists and improvisers: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Freddie Hubbard, Hank Mobley, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Sarah Vaughan, Jaco Pastorius, Ahmad Jamal and so many others are revered for their shared ability to compose incredible music at the speed of sound.

Dozens of improvised jazz solos have become fundamental documents of the art form. Here, the experts at JAZZ.FM91 dig deeper to share some of their favourite solos and improvisations.