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.
When I came up, it was all about originality and collective research. There is an awful lot of imitation going on now.
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.
Risk is at the heart of jazz. Every note we play is a risk.
You can work on the saxophone alone, but ultimately you must perform with others.
I heard Sidney Bechet play a Duke Ellington piece and fell in love with the soprano saxophone.
The saxophone is a very interesting machine, but I'm more interested in music.
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.
What I learned with Cecil Taylor was strategy and survival and how to resist temptations and resist getting discouraged.
Saxophone is one thing, and music is another.
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.
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.
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.
Jazz is people's music, a collectivity.
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.
Bamboo is not a weed, it's a flowering plant. Bamboo is a magnificent plant.
You must have the music to justify an instrument's extensive use.
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.
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.
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