Phil Woods likes to tell a story about his fellow alto saxophone virtuoso and longtime musical partner, the late Gene Quill. One night, Quill played what Mr. Woods described as a "blazing solo" to wild reception from the audience — with the exception of one finger-waving self-appointed critic, who walked up to Quill and declared, "All you're doing is imitating Charlie Parker." Quill removed his saxophone from its strap, handed it to the guy, and said, "Here, you imitate Charlie Parker."
- Will Friedwald, "Ageless Woods Feels a Bit Quincy"
Cecil [Taylor] to me is more like Bud than a person who imitates Bud, just as Anthony Braxton is more like Charlie Parker than a person who imitates Charlie Parker.' Cecil is adventurous, and creative, and he decided to be on his own, to go his own way.
You know, I worked with Lester Young after he left Count Basie's band. We were at one of the joints in the Village. I just assumed that if I played like the great drummer Papa Jo Jones who worked with Count Basie, that would be the way to play with Lester Young... Well, one night, when I thought I had everything down, I said, 'Ok, Lester, that was a good night.'
And Lester looked at me and said, 'You can't join the throng 'til you write your own song.' He sang that to me. And he said, 'Do you dig the tones?'
- Max Roach, in Howard Mandel's Miles, Ornette, Cecil -- Jazz Beyond Jazz [via Jazz Beyond Jazz]
It may not always come off, but that's what creativity's about.Here lies, to me, one of the key fault lines between the two main camps on the ways of thinking about jazz (and music/art in general, but let's keep it simple).
- Max Roach, in Mike Zwerin "MAX ROACH: From Hip Hop to Bebop" [via Alexander Hawkins]
with acknowledgments/apologies to Doug Ramsey for the title.