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.
I think it is in collaboration that the nature of art is revealed.
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.
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.
You must have the music to justify an instrument's extensive use.
The saxophone is a very interesting machine, but I'm more interested in music.
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.
Kenny G, I have to be grateful to him for proving that the instrument can be played all different kinds of ways.
Saxophone is one thing, and music is another.
Jazz is like wine. When it is new it's only for the experts, but when it gets older everybody wants it.
I still love the whole history of Jazz. The old things sound better than ever.
When I found the music of Monk I finally found music that fit that horn. Every one of his tunes fit it perfectly.
Circumstances can be very important. Find the right people to work with.
Register is very important. Music sounds best in a certain register.
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.
I started in New Orleans music and played all through the history of jazz.
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.
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.
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