Steve Lacy Quotes

Quotes : 46

English

Art Music Alone Work Love


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.

By : Steve Lacy

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They call me before they go into production, when they have a prototype, and they call legitimate saxophonists, too. As opposed to the other kind.

By : Steve Lacy

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I've always been extremely lucky in playing with great people who knew much more than I did. That's how I got from there to here.

By : Steve Lacy

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I was spoiled by Monk's music because it was so good, so complete.

By : Steve Lacy

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I wanted to be a pianist but it just wasn't my thing. I guess I wanted to stand up rather than sit down.

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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.

By : Steve Lacy

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I think it is in collaboration that the nature of art is revealed.

By : Steve Lacy

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If you're trying to invent something new, you're going to reach a lot of discouraging points, and most people give up.

By : Steve Lacy

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Jazz is like wine. When it is new, it is only for the experts, but when it gets older, everybody wants it.

By : Steve Lacy

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Jazz is people's music, a collectivity.

By : Steve Lacy

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Kenny G, I have to be grateful to him for proving that the instrument can be played all different kinds of ways.

By : Steve Lacy

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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.

By : Steve Lacy

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People don't want to suffer. They want to sound good immediately, and this is one of the biggest problems in the world.

By : Steve Lacy

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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.

By : Steve Lacy

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The soprano turned out to sound to me like the right hand on the piano.

By : Steve Lacy

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Risk is at the heart of jazz. Every note we play is a risk.

By : Steve Lacy

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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.

By : Steve Lacy

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Some people really want to play Mozart and be just performers. I was more interested in invention.

By : Steve Lacy

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The saxophone is a very interesting machine, but I'm more interested in music.

By : Steve Lacy

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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.

By : Steve Lacy

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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.

By : Steve Lacy

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It starts with a single sound. If there's something in that sound, then it's worth continuing.

By : Steve Lacy

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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.

By : Steve Lacy

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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.

By : Steve Lacy

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You can work on the saxophone alone, but ultimately you must perform with others.

By : Steve Lacy

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Whoever has an original thing to say, it is sort of a threat to the status quo.

By : Steve Lacy

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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.

By : Steve Lacy

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When I heard Monk in person in 1955, he was playing with a quartet in a small club. The place was full of musicians, but there was no public at all.

By : Steve Lacy

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When I found the music of Monk I finally found music that fit that horn. Every one of his tunes fit it perfectly.

By : Steve Lacy

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When I first started playing music in 1955, there was just a small body of people that knew it. It was a very esoteric type of thing.

By : Steve Lacy

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When I came up, it was all about originality and collective research. There is an awful lot of imitation going on now.

By : Steve Lacy

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What I learned with Cecil Taylor was strategy and survival and how to resist temptations and resist getting discouraged.

By : Steve Lacy

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I still love the whole history of jazz. The old things sound better than ever.

By : Steve Lacy

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We played for peanuts. But we did what we wanted to do, we heard what we wanted to hear, we performed what we wanted to perform, we learned what we wanted to learn.

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Register is very important. Music sounds best in a certain register.

By : Steve Lacy

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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.

By : Steve Lacy

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The potential for the saxophone is unlimited.

By : Steve Lacy

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I started in New Orleans music and played all through the history of jazz.

By : Steve Lacy

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I heard Sidney Bechet play a Duke Ellington piece and fell in love with the soprano saxophone.

By : Steve Lacy

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I fell in love with jazz when I was 12 years old from listening to Duke Ellington and hearing a lot of jazz in New York on the radio.

By : Steve Lacy

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Circumstances can be very important. Find the right people to work with.

By : Steve Lacy

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Before the work comes to you, you have to invent work.

By : Steve Lacy

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