Whoever has an original thing to say, it is sort of a threat to the status quo.
In composition you have all the time you want to decide what to say in 15 seconds, in improvisation you have 15 seconds.
It starts with a single sound. If there's something in that sound, then it's worth continuing.
I think it is in collaboration that the nature of art is revealed.
The potential for the saxophone is unlimited.
Jazz is like wine. When it is new it's only for the experts, but when it gets older everybody wants it.
Risk is at the heart of jazz. Every note we play is a risk.
When I came up, it was all about originality and collective research. There is an awful lot of imitation going on now.
I heard Sidney Bechet play a Duke Ellington piece and fell in love with the soprano saxophone.
A jazz musician is a combination orator, dialectician, mathematician, athlete, entertainer, poet, singer, dancer, diplomat, educator, student, comedian, artist, seducer, public masturbator, and general all-round good fellow.
Bamboo is not a weed, it's a flowering plant. Bamboo is a magnificent plant.
It's very important to go through periods where you sound just rotten and you know it, and you have to persevere or give up.
You must have the music to justify an instrument's extensive use.
The more original something is, the more of a threat it seems until the people catch up with it. That happened with Thelonious Monk. It happened with anybody who is really original.
The saxophone is a very interesting machine, but I'm more interested in music.
You can work on the saxophone alone, but ultimately you must perform with others.
I've been working on the soprano saxophone for 40 years, and the possibilities are astounding. It's up to you, the only limit is the imagination.
Before the work comes to you, you have to invent work.
A young pianist & composer who has demonstrated an exceptional creativity, in both his playing & his writing, as well as showing us all, his very strong commitment & motivation to aim for high musical goals. Talent like his is rare.
There is an awful lot of what I call recreational jazz going on, where people go out and learn a particular language or style and become real sharks on somebody else's language.
If you're trying to invent something new, you're going to reach a lot of discouraging points, and most people give up.
If you have music you want to play that no one asks you to play, you have to go out and find where you can play it. It's called do or die.
If you listen to Louis Armstrong from 1929, you will never hear anything better than that really, and you will never hear anything more free than that.
I've performed solo for 20 years now, but I don't do much of it, because if you only play alone, you go crazy and out of tune and play foolish music.
What I learned with Cecil Taylor was strategy and survival and how to resist temptations and resist getting discouraged.
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