Whoever has an original thing to say, it is sort of a threat to the status quo.
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.
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.
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.
Nobody was playing the soprano saxophone and certainly nobody was trying to do anything with it. So I was all alone. I didn't know that at first.
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.
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.
Circumstances can be very important. Find the right people to work with.
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