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.
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.
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.
Risk is at the heart of jazz. Every note we play is a risk.
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.
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.
Circumstances can be very important. Find the right people to work with.
If you're trying to invent something new, you're going to reach a lot of discouraging points, and most people give up.
Bamboo is not a weed, it's a flowering plant. Bamboo is a magnificent plant.
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.
Jazz is people's music, a collectivity.
The potential for the saxophone is unlimited.
I heard Sidney Bechet play a Duke Ellington piece and fell in love with the soprano saxophone.
You can work on the saxophone alone, but ultimately you must perform with others.
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.
Make the drummer sound good.
Saxophone is one thing, and music is another.
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.
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.
The saxophone is a very interesting machine, but I'm more interested in music.
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