Whoever has an original thing to say, it is sort of a threat to the status quo.
It starts with a single sound. If there's something in that sound, then it's worth continuing.
The potential for the saxophone is unlimited.
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.
I think it is in collaboration that the nature of art is revealed.
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.
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.
You can work on the saxophone alone, but ultimately you must perform with others.
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.
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.
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.
To me, there is spirit in a reed. It's a living thing, a weed, really, and it does contain spirit of a sort. It's really an ancient vibration.
Bamboo is not a weed, it's a flowering plant. Bamboo is a magnificent plant.
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.
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.
What I learned with Cecil Taylor was strategy and survival and how to resist temptations and resist getting discouraged.
The soprano has all those other instruments in it. It's got the soprano song voice, flute, violin, clarinet, and tenor elements and can even approach the baritone in intensity.
Jazz is people's music, a collectivity.
Make the drummer sound good.
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