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.
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.
When I came up, it was all about originality and collective research. There is an awful lot of imitation going on now.
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.
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.
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.
Saxophone is one thing, and music is another.
Jazz is people's music, a collectivity.
Play difficult and interesting things. If you play boring things, you risk losing your appetite. Saxophone can be tedious with too much of the same.
Make the drummer sound good.
Circumstances can be very important. Find the right people to work with.
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