What you are hearing in any small group jazz setting is in essence a conversation between several individuals who hopefully have a history of communication and a shared language. The subject matter changes with each composition and each performance begins the process anew. Every piece inherently contains a musical puzzle to be worked out by the players spontaneously. What we, the musicians, do with a piece of music is to apply our knowledge and technique tempered by one's emotional state to explore the given musical challenge. These come in the form of rhythmic, harmonic, sonic, melodic and structural questions. Of course, we have preconceived and habituated answers based on previous experience and practice, but the overriding goal is to be as spontaneous as possible without relying on the past or thinking about the future. In other words, always "being there" in present time!