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.
Before the work comes to you, you have to invent work.
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 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.
Risk is at the heart of jazz. Every note we play is a risk.
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.
The potential for the saxophone is unlimited.
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.
Circumstances can be very important. Find the right people to work with.
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.
If you're trying to invent something new, you're going to reach a lot of discouraging points, and most people give up.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I heard Sidney Bechet play a Duke Ellington piece and fell in love with the soprano saxophone.
When I found the music of Monk I finally found music that fit that horn. Every one of his tunes fit it perfectly.
I started in New Orleans music and played all through the history of jazz.
You can work on the saxophone alone, but ultimately you must perform with others.
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